The Thanksgiving holiday comes with the idea of “giving thanks.” ,One way to give thanks is to help others who are less fortunate. “I feel the food drive brings GA together by discovering, a problem in our community, setting goals, and working as a whole to resolve it,” says Meredith Murphy (`12).
The students and faculty have worked for nine years so far to create a Thanksgiving Food Drive. Sister Mary Ann Mehling, Instructor of Religion and Director of Service, has been in charge of this every year along with the Service Committee and has a complete dedication to make sure people are helped during the Thanksgiving season.
To make the drive most effective and organized, each student advisory was asked to put together at least four baskets filled with a variety of food products such as gravy, stuffing, cake mix, and peanut butter. Other advisories put together five or more baskets. Each basket would also contain 12 dollars along with the main food like the potatoes and turkeys that were supplied by AVI Food Services.
Sister Mary Ann always wants everyone to get involved and share what they have with others. She says, “The need is great and it’s real important that people help and bring in food.” The Academy planned to bring 100 baskets to Saint Pat’s, 65 baskets to Saint Adalbert’s, and the rest of the baskets to Saint Augustan’s on the west side.
During Convocation, Sister Corita and Father Joe McNaulti came to talk to us about “giving” and the need in Cleveland for food donations. They are from Saint Augustan’s which is one of the locations of our basket delivery. Saint Augustan’s is committed to supplying food for the homeless everyday.
The freshman class also put together baskets, but their baskets were specifically for Our Lady of Fatima Saint Agnes. Their baskets were smaller and filled with chicken breasts instead of whole turkeys to accommodate the men and women of Our Lady of Fatima Saint Agnes. The elderly visitors from this center were invited to a lunch at the Gilmour Lower School where they picked up their Thanksgiving meals.
Being able to help out others in this season definitely gives a great feeling to most. Katya Caravella (`11) says, “We are so fortunate that the least we can do is give a Thanksgiving meal to those who need it most.”
After all the baskets were put together by the sophomores, juniors, and seniors, they were all rounded up. Students and alumni met at Gilmour on November 25th to deliver them to the various locations around Cleveland.
Sister Mary Ann was very happy to know that students enjoy helping in this food drive especially s i n c e 3 0 g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t s returned to help deliver the baskets.
Sister Mary Ann reaches out to anyone that is not already involved in volunteer work around the Cleveland area. She reassures them that there are plenty of opportunities.
Students can still help at the Food Bank, tutoring at Arch Bishop Lyke, even after donating food for the Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. Their help is appreciated by everyone involved and they might even receive a great feeling from helping others.