December 14, 2017
School & Youth
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Sonia Rassofsky Takes Lead Role in Holiday Tradition

Maya Pottiger
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December 6, 2017

Local Student Took On More Responsibilities In This Year’s Thrive Behavioral Health Thanksgiving Food Drive

Though all students participating in the National Junior Honor Society are required to participate in a service project, Sonia Rassofsky is particularly close to hers.

For the third consecutive year, 13-year-old Sonia helped collect, deliver and sort food for a Thanksgiving food drive organized by Thrive Behavioral Health, a mental health clinic that serves low-income families.

“My favorite part? I love being able to help people,” Sonia said. “And you don’t usually get the opportunity to, especially something this large of a scale helping so many people in such a wide range.”

This year, Thrive put together meals for 89 families, feeding a total of 455 people. Thrive has more than doubled the number of families since the first food drive.

Sonia’s responsibilities for this year’s food drive included creating the sign-up sheets for donations, writing some of the promotional copy, sorting the donations and keeping track of the incoming donations on a spreadsheet.

“What we did on our end was contact all of our staff and clinicians and asked if any of them work with clients or clients’ families that are in need for Thanksgiving meals this year,” said Denise Graybeal, an intern at Thrive. “So they compiled a list of everyone, of how many items each family would need, how many people are in the families, and then I sent that information over to the Shipley’s Choice group, and they worked on collecting those donations.”

Sonia’s mother, Trista, coordinates with Thrive to generate the list of donations and then posts it on community pages. In previous years, Shipley’s Choice handled all of the donations, but as this was the biggest year, donations were opened to Chartwell, Severna Park Middle School and Fair Oaks.

After a turkey shortage was announced, Be My Guest Catering donated 13 turkeys, Rassofsky said.

This year, more than 100 people helped deliver, sort and assemble the Thanksgiving boxes. “What’s been beautiful about this project is so many people in the community have come together to help with this one,” Trista said. “Everybody is so happy when they come in. They bring in their food and they’re happy to be part of it.”

Brianne Hahn, owner of Thrive, said she is very thankful for all of the Rassofsky family’s work and that “this project wouldn’t be possible without them.”

“It’s profound. It’s rewarding. Just to think people outside of us that really want to give back to the community,” Hahn said. “It’s amazing to see. You get emotional thinking about it, but people still really care, and I think that’s important.”


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