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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Bell

Grandmaster Azad sets out to help 1,000 families this Thanksgiving

Grandmaster Azad has reached his goal of helping 1,000 families for the 30th Annual Thanksgiving Basket Brigade.

Master Azad is a martial arts instructor who has provided Thanksgiving meals to 200 families in Chico almost every year. This year, he set out to help 1,000 families in the Butte County area. This program has helped 45,000 people in the Chico area, according to Master Azad.

Master Azad started this program after making a promise to himself that he would help families have a Thanksgiving meal. When he was a college student, Master Azad witnessed a family unable to have a Thanksgiving meal. Due to his finances at the time, he was unable to help the family. This was a moment of self-reflection for Master Azad. He knew that he wanted to help as many families as possible.

“I opened up a business that was doing okay,” Master Azad said. “ And then I provided the first meal for a family and it felt fantastic. The next year we went to 50 meals.”

It was important for Master Azad to provide meals to more families this year compared to previous years because of the pandemic. He knew how difficult it would be for families this year, so he expanded his program.

Due to shortages this year, Master Azad said there was difficulty finding some items for the basket such as turkey and cranberries. They started reaching out to suppliers in February and still faced difficulties. As of now, they are only waiting on the cranberries to be delivered.

This year, there are five delivery locations.The delivery locations are:

  • Chico- Azad’s Martial Arts

  • Magalia- Pine Ridge School

  • Oroville- Central Middle School

  • Thermalito- Plumas Avenue School

  • Gridley- Sycamore Middle School

Master Azad said that they’re still looking for volunteer drivers for Magalia and Thermalito. He hopes that they will get more volunteers soon, that way the volunteers can introduce themselves to the families they will be dropping the baskets off to.

All of the baskets are going to be assembled and delivered from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Nov. 17. Master Azad is still accepting volunteers, anybody who is interested can sign up at:

  • Paradise:

  • Thermalito:

The families who are receiving a basket have already been selected.

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