Purdue University North Central students in the Dean's Leadership Group collected food and monetary donations to provide Thanksgiving baskets to deserving PNC families.
The Dean's Leadership Group has hosted a Thanksgiving food drive for the past few years. Last year they distributed 18 baskets and had 30 baskets this year.
“The goal of the Dean's Leadership Group is to better our university and our community through volunteerism,” explained Ryan Crowder, of Valparaiso, food drive co-chair. This is an extension of our mission.”
The group decided to make this a true campus event, asking other clubs to sponsor baskets so that they could reach out to help additional families. The response was tremendous as 10 clubs answered the call. Some clubs agreed to donate multiple baskets. Those clubs are:
Student Government; Purdue Learning About Young Children in Education (PLAYCE), three baskets; Social Work Student Organization, two baskets; Alpha Mu Pi Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, five baskets; Panther Voices; Dean's Leadership Group, six baskets; Delta Sigma Science Club, three baskets; English Club, three baskets; FYE Club, Pre-Vet Club and Student Education Association (SEA) Club.
In addition, the Dean's Leadership students asked students to buy a paper “turkey” for 50 cents to support the drive, set out jars to collect spare change and asked for non-perishable food to be dropped in boxes placed at the Westville campus and PNC – Porter County.
“We've had a great response,” said co-chair Kara Moon, of Valparaiso. “We are going to help a lot of families.”
This food drive also taught the participating students valuable skills. The intention of the Dean's Leadership Group is to help students develop and refine their leadership skills which they will use on campus and in the community.
“I've learned so much,” said Moon. “There are so many little details behind an event like this; things that you would never think about.” Working through details like reserving a table where they would sell their paper turkeys and getting a change box ready for their collection table proved to be a valuable learning experience, she said.
Each Dean's Leadership student is expected to take on a project during the year and Crowder decided to take the lead with the food drive after he was involved with last year's drive.
As a senior, he wanted underclassmen involved so that they would be able to take over next year, which is why Moon and Rachael Vaught, of Whiting, got involved.
They agree they've had a positive experience and look forward to future projects.
“I'm happy that we are able to help some families have a good Thanksgiving,” said Moon.
“We are so grateful for the generosity of the participating clubs and PNC community,” said Crowder. “This is a complete PNC effort that will brighten the holidays for many.”