Hannah Collings – Staff Writer
CLARION, Pa.- Eagle Ambassadors have developed a unique charity opportunity that gives students the chance to reach out to the community beyond Clarion University’s campus.
Eagle Ambassadors is a recognized student organization whose purpose is to create ties between the university and its alumni while improving the community. In coalition with Chartwells Dining Services, it is sponsoring a program called Donate a Meal where students have the opportunity to give their Nov. 18 dinner board to Eagle Commons on Oct. 24, 25, 31 and Nov. 1 from 11 to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
Donate a Meal offers a free Thanksgiving turkey to underprivileged Clarion County community members. Students who choose to participate agree to give up their dinner board on their meal plan for November 18. Students can also donate by giving cash.
The cost of this board, or the monetary donation, is taken and used to buy turkeys which are donated to Community Action of Clarion County. This organization will then give these gifts to citizens of Clarion County who are unable to afford their own turkey. Eagle Ambassadors has been running Donate a Meal for nearly 10 years.
Community Action Partnership is a nationwide organization that provides education and training to its members to equip them to deal with poverty in their communities. They also help to create jobs and, as their website attests, “are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.”
Katelyn Garrett, vice president of the club and organizer of the program, said, “Working at the Donate a Meal table in Eagle Commons has really showed me how genuine our students are. They are always wanting to give more, and to help others. It really makes me happy to be a part of such a great program here on campus.”
Garrett herself has given a meal every year since she was a freshman. Her sister, freshman Olivia Garrett, is also involved and asked students entering Eagle Commons on Oct. 24 if they would donate. One donor, Alyssa White, explained that she gave up a meal because she “was just happy that a family can get a meal.”
When asked what she would want students to know about the Donate a Meal program, Garrett replied, “We want students to know that we are entirely grateful for all of the students’ generosity to donate one of their boards. We have had a great turn out so far from all the students! I am very excited to see how much we can donate to the Clarion Community Action. Thank you to everyone who donated!”