Hannah Collings – Staff Writer
CLARION, Pa.- Eagle Ambassadors completed its Thanksgiving Donate-a-Meal program on Nov. 22, having collected donations from Clarion University students over the past weeks to provide turkeys for distribution by the Clarion County Community Action for local residents in need.
Four hundred and seventy students donated their Nov. 18 dinner board to contribute to the ambassadors’ fund. The program also received $30 in cash donations and $100 from the university’s alumni association. The ambassadors bought 61 12-pound turkeys, which they delivered to Community Action’s food bank.
Community Action, Inc. distributed some of these turkeys to families for Thanksgiving, but will distribute the rest at Christmastime. Families in need are able to register at Community Action to receive a turkey for the holidays.
Ambassadors Vice President Katelyn Garrett was encouraged by students’ response to this charity project.
“It shows how caring students are about the community,” she said. Many students were not only eager to donate one board, but asked to contribute multiple meals. This is “something I could look into for next semester,” Garrett noted.
Not only were charitable students happy with the donations they could make, but when Garrett and other ambassadors donated the turkeys they had bought, she recalled that “the individuals that work at the Community Action were very pleased.”
The Ambassadors are organizing a similar event to donate meals to Community Action for Easter in the spring semester.
The Community Action food pantry is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It services over 90 local families per month.
Community Action is also involved in seasonal charity programs such as Toys for Tots, a nationwide charity project initiated by the Marine Corps Reserve that collects unused toys to provide Christmas presents for children of families receiving government assistance.
The Clarion drop-off for Toys for Tots donations are the police station, DE Sports, Inc., Total Body Tanning Center, CVS, Studio XIII and inside the entrance of Carlson Library.
Community Action services community members in need not only with food and material donations, but also with educational support. This organization offers GED preparation classes and helps to equip individuals with the resources to obtain jobs.
The goal of Community Action, as stated on its website, is to “promote family self-sufficiency and advance community prosperity.” Many Clarion University students were happy to contribute to this goal by providing community families with holiday meals.