Throughout November, Sacred Heart University’s Student Government members are accepting donations to feed families in the Bridgeport area during the holiday season. This year marks Student Government’s 11th annual edition of the Turkey Drive. Donations go directly towards purchasing turkeys and other food items that are distributed at three local organizations in Bridgeport: St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Golden Hill United Methodist Church and Southwest Community Health Center.
Students, families, faculty and alumni are encouraged to donate money to help families who may lack the resources to buy turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. To raise money, Student Government representatives issued table times starting at the end of October. Up until Nov. 3, tables were located in the Main Academic Building and the 63’s Patio, where students, teachers and administrators were presented with a chance to contribute cash in person. Scannable QR codes were also available if donors wished to make payments online.
Alejandro Ramos, Assistant Perspectives Editor for The Spectrum and Executive President of Student Government, spoke on current donation methods.
“We offer a variety of ways for people to contribute. Donations are being accepted through email links, social media, text messages and our website,” said Ramos.
As of Nov. 3, the school community has raised $4,400 for this year’s turkey drive, according to the event’s website. The goal is to either raise $25,000 or provide 1,200 turkeys.
Isabella Scarmack, a senior and Director of Community and Inclusion for Student Government, has organized the drive in recent years and reflected upon what the objective meant to her.
“Reaching our goal is very important to us because this allows us to provide for numerous families and host a Christmas drive later on. Last year, we ended up clearing our goal of $20,000 and raised over $24,000 in total,” said Scarmack.
Megan Clifford, a senior and Executive Vice President of Student Government, believes connections between other organizations on campus are beneficial toward the cause.
“I try to promote the event in organizational meetings, through my sorority (Kappa Alpha Theta) and as a Student Ambassador. We also got help with distributing turkeys from the SHU Men’s Lacrosse team last year,” said Clifford.
This year, students have an opportunity to bring back an old tradition. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Student Government representative that garnered the most donations at table times got to wear a turkey costume during the canning (dorm-to-dorm fundraising) event.
“I raised the most money this year, so now I get to be a turkey for a day during fundraising,” said Ramos.
Canning is an informal method of fundraising that emphasizes in-person and door-to-door donations. This event took place on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Senior Ryan Downey spoke on the importance of giving back to the community.
“Food insecurity is a huge issue, especially during the holiday season. With service being a core value of our university, our turkey drive is a culmination of students’ work to give back. Helping even one person is still making a quality difference,” said Downey.
To donate via text message, text “TurkeyDrive22” to 71777. To donate online, visit this link: https://fundraise.givesmart.com/vf/TurkeyDrive22. Contributions of any amount will be accepted until Sunday, Nov. 20. Distribution of food with community partners is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Nov. 22.