Marketsmith CEO Monica C. Smith was recently quoted in a Forbes.com article citing the importance of families to successful entrepreneurial endeavors. The Thanksgiving season is coming up, and as the parents of four adopted children Monica and her partner Amy know better than many just how challenging it can be to raise a successful family. Their special needs kids are adopted from Newark, one of the poorest cities in the United States so it’s only natural that when Sam Garrison, principal of the Camden Street Elementary School, introduced his big plans for Thanksgiving, they wanted to help. Garrison wants to make a difference in the lives of the 500 families involved at his school. In order to make a difference, he is going to try to instill in students values based on principles outlined by Dr. Nick and Nancy Stinnett and Joe and Alice Beam in their book, Fantastic Families: commitment, appreciation, positive communication, quality time, spiritual well-being, and the ability to overcome challenges together. Sam explains, “I recognize that success for my students also encompasses the transformation of their families and the community.”
This holds true in all communities: each year the Smith family gives thanks for their larger family- the community that has given them never-ending support. Sam Garrison wants to give those in the Camden Street School community a chance to have a Thanksgiving as well. An organization has agreed to donate, cook and serve meals to the families of students. However, after learning more about Fantastic Families and what Sam is trying to encourage at home, Amy and Monica want to send the 100 families that will show up that night with a Thanksgiving dinner to go home with. “One man is trying to change these children’s lives. We have to help him,” Smith says. “The whole idea is to show these kids that the community cares- to transfer the communal experience to their homes, including healthy eating, communication, and consistent support.”
So here at Marketsmith, Inc. and in the larger community of New Jersey, we are engaged in a full-scale effort to feed 500 people Thanksgiving dinner. Says Smith,
“This is the first time Marketsmith, Inc. has ever done anything like this. We are doing something for a higher purpose- I want everyone to know that children living in poverty is unacceptable; that their education should be of utmost importance to everyone.”
Marketsmith, Inc. team members will be assembling meal kits and delivering them to the families at Camden Street School on November 2nd. In the spirit of good will and of the Thanksgiving season, we are hoping to provide each of these deserving families with a healthy meal to take home. We have asked our friends and families to join us in helping change the Camden Elementary School for the better, one meal at a time.
Monica C. Smith continues,
“I know everywhere you turn there is a request for something. However, I think what makes this different is that Sam Garrison wants to change the lives of 500 families right here in our own state, in an area we know is devastated by the challenges of poverty and broken families. Amy and I have a dream that we can help break the chain of children growing up in unhealthy and challenged environments. It does take a village, and I am hoping you will join us once again and help these families be a part of a Thanksgiving communion on November 2nd, and then again in their homes. This one family dinner given by you can take them one step closer to helping build Fantastic Families in the Thanksgiving season.”
By donating $35 to buy a complete dinner for a family or sending a gift that an underprivileged family would find useful, you too can make a difference in the New Jersey community.
Please send all contributions to
C/O Kathy Saccente
14 Walsh Drive
Parsippany, New Jersey 07054
By November 1st.
Thank you for your never-ending support.
Update October 10, 2012
The gifts are rolling in! This morning, a donor dropped off these games and toys.
Some of the MSI team unloads a ShopRite truck full of soup, beverages, pasta, and sauce
Update November 14, 2012
We are getting shopping bags full of food ready to go for this Friday! Each bag contains enough food for at least two healthy, well-balanced family dinners.
Update November 19, 2012
The Fantastic Families dinner was a lead story on News12! Monica C. Smith and Sam Garrison were interviewed, and there is some great footage of the event. News12: Marketsmith Builds Fantastic Families>