This holiday season, Student Leadership involvement and Community Engagement gather money to buy turkeys for the Food Bank for Larimer County during its second annual Turkey Drive.
Last year the drive raised over $1,000 for Thanksgiving turkeys, and this year SLiCE Volunteer Program Coordinator Keith Colton hopes the CSU community will be able to once again help the food bank provide meals for those less fortunate in and around Fort Collins.
“The real stressful part of the holiday is not on the holidays themselves, it’s the run-up to the holiday (for less fortunate people),” Colton said. “The real stress comes from scrambling to make sure your kids aren’t the only ones in school that didn’t get turkey on Thanksgiving. We are helping to alleviate the stress that comes before the holiday itself.”
The donations go directly to the Food Bank for Larimer County, which will try to put together 3,200 care baskets, complete with turkeys, over the holiday season. 1,200 baskets are handed out from the food bank itself, and 2,000 are sent to 70 other non-profit agencies along the Front Range.
“All those agencies get food from us,” said Larimer County Food Bank Executive Director Amy Pezzani. “Our food warehouse said every agency is requesting more this year. . People are coming by dropping off turkeys daily. Our thanks go to the community.”
Pezzani said although she was unsure of how many turkeys were purchased with CSU donations, she believes many of the other items included in the care baskets came from CSU’s Cans Around the Oval.
In a holiday season centered on abundance, the struggle for a Thanksgiving meal is even more difficult for those who never have abundance, let alone a decent meal on a daily basis.
Pezzani said even those who don’t have much to give are still willing to help others, recalling a Loveland woman who gave her voucher back because, although she was in need, she had found a family to dine with.
“. her act of generosity showed that even those who are really in need still want to help others. Things like that happen all the time,” Pezzani said.
Pezanni acknowledged Colton, SLiCE and the CSU community for “supporting (the food bank) financially and with student volunteers, which is crucial to what (they) do.”
Colton believes even though efforts to help the less fortunate around the holidays exist, those who go without still “find some peace during the holiday season,” with our without a turkey.
“No matter if they have “stuff,” like a turkey dinner, presents, a tree or whatever, people seem to always make the best of it,” he said. “In fact, the holidays are sometimes even more sacred and more of a time to count your blessings for a family going through a tough time . than for a family who can afford everything for their children.”
A $25 donation to the Turkey Drive is enough to feed a family of four this Thanksgiving. Those interested in making a donation can bring cash or a check made out to “Food Bank for Larimer County” to the SLiCE office, room 195 of the Lory Student Center.
Donations can be brought in until Wednesday. Donations can also be made online at payments.auctionpay.com/ver3/?id=w005812.
“Turkey or not . I truly believe most families who have a lot of barriers still celebrate, find some peace and simply make the best of the holidays no matter the circumstance,” Colton said. “Perhaps they understand the meaning of the holidays better than those of us who are privileged.”
Staff writer Kelley Bruce Robinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.