Campus Ministry got into the giving spirit early as they hosted their annual Thanksgiving food drive on Nov. 24. They accepted donations weeks leading up to the event.
Every year, St. Edward’s University “adopts” 50 underpriveleged families in the community and personally delivers Thanksgiving meals to their homes. The families are chosen from the St. Ignatius Food Bank and must have at least two children with a family size of at least four members.
Medina Bills, Campus Ministry’s administrative secretary, and several student volunteers loaded the department van with dozens of bags and crates filled with Thanksgiving food items and delivered them to the families on their list.
Bills says that the goal for this drive is to implement the university’s quest for confronting social justice issues as well as valuing their commitment to service and community. She also states how Campus Ministry would not have been able to make this even a success without the contribution of the St. Edward’s community. The university’s softball team, Bon Appétit, SERVE 1 Day, local sponsors, volunteers and drivers all played a role in making the food drive possible.
“It takes a village, I can assure you that. I couldn’t do it without the support of the SEU community,” Bills said. “Besides providing Thanksgiving meals to 50 families in the local community, [it builds] community and a sense of solidarity.”
Tawnya Cole volunteered during the food drive, checking in turkey donations and organizing turkeys by size in the CSC room next to the chapel.
She says she volunteered for a SERVE Austin project for her Corporate Social Responsibilities class at St. Edward’s. She was excited for the food drive because of her previous experience helping underserved communities.
“I have previously worked with the homeless on Thanksgiving day and the Salvation Army, so I’m excited to do something a little different [with Campus Ministry] and to be of service,” Cole said.
Jingwen Fung was also a student volunteer who took the opportunity to volunteer with Campus Ministry through SERVE Austin. Fung made her way into the CSC room on the day of the food drive, taking in her turkey donation and joining Cole near the turkey collection table.
This was Fung’s first time volunteering with Campus Ministry for their annual food drive and she says she has enjoyed the experience.
Some of these donations included turkeys, bread, desserts and non-perishable canned goods. Campus Ministry plans on continuing this food drive for years to come.