Turkey Baskets: helping families in need for the holiday season

Every year in the United States the great holiday of Thanksgiving occurs. Of course in this hard economic crisis thanksgiving dinners are harder and harder to come by for families in the lower middle class and below that. With that in mind one can see how the Residence Hall Association would be very interested in helping out the local community. For the past nine years or so the Residence Hall Association executive board has put on a “Turkey Baskets” program which entails that each hall government at Western Oregon University raise money in order to purchase baskets full of food for families who can’t afford it. Ella Curran is the organization that receives all of the donated food and puts an actual turkey in the “turkey basket” and gives those completed baskets to the needy families.

In order to create the baskets each individual hall government must fund raise through out the halls. A lot of fundraising ideas consisted of “pie your RA’s” or “penny wars”  which are fairly easy fundraisers to put on. Although the fundraisers are easy the actual funds collecting part is challenging because each “basket” consists of different non-perishable foods that costs about 18-20 dollars. This year the hall governments have collectively raised around 800 dollars for the cause.

In years past this program was such a big success that the RHA executive board felt the need to put on this program again in order to really make an imprint in the Polk county community.  The hard work and passion that the hall governments have shown during these tireless weeks with all of their other programs has really been hard core evidence that the students of Western Oregon University absolutely care about the community and have proven themselves to be very mature and respectable young adults.

This year the Hall governments have really proven themselves to be of high quality because collectively the hall governments put together 159 turkey baskets! That is 159 families that will get a thanksgiving meal! Last year the concluding number was 120, so the fact that the hall governments have really put themselves out there is very impressive! Giving back to the community is one of the many things Western strives to do and this is just one program that helps achieve that goal!

By Amanda Summers

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