By Christina Dimauro
Every year around Thanksgiving, Sacred Heart University’s Student Government sets out to help families in the surrounding community celebrate the start of the holiday season. The turkey drive is a campus-wide event with a goal to purchase 500 turkeys this year.
The donations of the drive goes to non-profit organizations to help connect with the families in need that are in the community. St. Charles Parish in Bridgeport, Golden Hill Methodist Church and Alpha Community Services are all groups that help to benefit over 500 families throughout the greater Bridgeport area.
“Our donations offer the community a warm meal that they can share with their families and a chance to be able to be in the spirit of helping others in the start to this holiday season,” said senior Ashley Nordone, Executive Vice President of Student Government for Senate.
The turkey drive is giving students the opportunity to help out families in close proximity to the Sacred Heart community during the holiday season.
“It’s all about giving back to our community and that is what Sacred Heart is all about,” said senior Sarah Palmieri, Vice President of Judicial Affairs.
There are many different means of getting students across campus to donate.
Whether it is through fundraisers at local restaurants, having table time outside of 63’s and attending different sporting events, every event helps to reach the goal.
Student Government also works along volunteer programs to help with donations.
“Our role is to coordinate the donations of canned foods [non-perishables], as well as staple food items that people can have even after the holiday,” said Andrea Canuel, Assistant Director of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning.
Volunteer Programs also coordinates with departments that want to help out. For example, athletic teams have collections during games on the weekends, the Theater Arts Program does collections during their shows, and Greek Life holds events where people bring donations.
“The Interfaith Service, which is a joint event with us and campus ministry that is happening Nov. 16 at 2 p.m, is the time when the whole Sacred Heart community can see all the donations and all that we are providing for the families in need,” said Canuel.
Students across campus have been donating and sharing how important the turkey drive is to Sacred Heart.
“I think donating to the drive is important. Each one of us, even if it’s only a small amount, is making a large impact on someone’s day,” said junior Abigail McCarthy.
There is still time to donate and help Student Government reach their goal.
“I think that students should get involved in the turkey drive because it is important to give back to the community around us,” said Nordone. “There are many people that do not have the funds to put together a Thanksgiving meal, and for most of us it something that we take for granted. Being able to hand individuals some ingredients to have a Thanksgiving meal of their own is a wonderful feeling. It doesn’t only impact the families that are benefiting, it impacts each one of us as well.”
Sacred Heart’s students and faculty have been donating for the past few weeks and can continue to do so until Nov. 21. For more information on how to donate, visit sacredheart.edu, or look for flyers and emails about fundraisers on and off campus.