Woman’s idea allows all families to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, even if they can’t afford it

A woman is on a mission to give Thanksgiving dinners to families who would otherwise not be able to afford it.

Marissa Viti, of Moon Township, Pennsylvania, said she know what it’s like for some families. She was raised by a single mom who sometimes struggled financially.

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"I remember one Thanksgiving when times were really difficult a close family friend showed up unexpected(ly) and brought my family Thanksgiving dinner," Viti wrote on her GoFundMe page. "At the time I was too young to really understand the magnitude of this kind gesture, but it left such an impact on my life."

Viti asked friends, family and strangers make donations so she could assemble “Thanksgiving in a box” for needy families. Inside each box are all the ingredients needed for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. The box also includes a gift card to purchase a turkey and any other perishable items.

She works with local schools and at-risk youth programs to make sure the boxes make it to families in need.

“If one of these families has a young teenager thinking about going down a wrong path, I hope that our good deed reminds them that what they are going through is just a temporary set back,” Viti wrote. “I also hope that at least one person is impacted enough to want to pay it forward themselves in the future.”

The project started in 2013 with just five boxes. By 2014, she made 24 boxes by Thanksgiving. This year, she asked for $5,000 to donate 50 boxes.

Viti surpassed that goal, having now raised more than $10,000 to help needy families.

If you would like to donate, click here.

We are preparing for this weekend. Some of my helpers for the night ❤️

Posted by Marissa Viti on Thursday, November 10, 2016

"It was inspired by my childhood and the struggles of being raised by a single mom."

Posted by ABC News on Friday, November 11, 2016

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