Students and Staff Give Generously at Thanksgiving

Members of Student Government, Volunteer Programs and Service Learning, the men’s lacrosse team and Chartwells were on hand at the St. Charles Food Pantry in Bridgeport to distribute Thanksgiving turkeys and food to needy families on November 25.

News Story: November 25, 2014

As is the case every year, Sacred Heart University’s Student Government team set a goal for turkey donations to help local families enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. In this, its fourth year of running the Campus-Wide Turkey Drive, the goal was $9,000 to purchase 500 turkeys. The team—most of whom had never run the Turkey Drive before—achieved their goal of providing food for those who might otherwise go without a Thanksgiving meal.  

To reach their goal, Student Government planned multiple fundraisers both on and off campus. Their online donation site was the biggest source of income, and the group sent messages to the Sacred Heart community, as well as family and friends. “Seeing the generosity from the Sacred Heart community was just as rewarding as delivering the turkeys throughout Bridgeport. It is clear that the SHU community wants to give back and help those in need any way they can. This drive could not have been successful without the support of the SHU community and their friends and families,” said Eleanor Danna ’15, who spearheaded this year’s campaign. Her co-chairs were Adyel Duran ’17, Kayleigh Pacciorretti ’16 and Manuela Contreras ’18.

The turkeys are donated to Bridgeport Rescue Mission and the Alpha Community House by volunteers from Student Government, Volunteer Programs and Service Learning and the Athletic Department.

“It was a great experience being a part of the turkey drive this year,” said Danna. “Being able to deliver the turkeys throughout Bridgeport to St. Charles, Alpha Community House and Thomas Merton House was so rewarding. It means a great deal to the Bridgeport community that Sacred Heart comes together to put holiday meals on so many tables.”

Volunteer Programs is also working to help those in need during the holiday season. The team has worked to collect nonperishable food to be donated to various organizations. The food goes to the St. Charles food pantry and other organizations in the area that will provide warm meals on Thanksgiving Day. Food was also collected at last weekend’s performances of I Remember Mama where discounted tickets were given in exchange for food donations.

“After weeks of fundraising and striving for our goal of 500 turkeys, it was so rewarding to be able to hand them out and see our hard work transfer to smiling faces of those in the community who received a turkey,” said Student Body President Nicole Gittleman, who also assisted with the turkey handout Tuesday morning.

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