Thanksgiving is well-known as that time of the year in the United States where families and loved ones gather together to enjoy homemade meals and to show their appreciation of one another. It is considered a joyful holiday for most, but what about those who cannot afford food for their families?
According to Feeding America, one in eight people struggle with hunger in the United States. This is why Ross Medical Education Center in Evansville, Indiana decided to help a local social service organization called Evansville Rescue Mission. They supported this organization as they worked to provide more than 1,700 families with food to eat with their loved ones this Thanksgiving. Every September, the Evansville Rescue Mission has a food drive in order to get donations to put together a food basket for each family in need. The event, running for the 94th year, is called the Gobbler Gathering and more than 1200 volunteers from the tri-state area join forces to assemble and hand out food baskets.
The Evansville campus was tasked with the goal of donating 200 cans of chicken broth in less than one month. The students and staff went well beyond the expectations and more than doubled their goal! The campus donated a total of 428 cans of chicken broth. Furthermore, several students from each program volunteered at the Gobble Gathering, assisting the Evansville Rescue Mission with assembling food baskets to donate and even meeting with some of the families in need.
Being able to come face-to-face with those in need showed staff, faculty, and students that it is not always apparent who is struggling, but people are often too ashamed to receive help. Representing Ross and the Evansville Rescue Mission, students were welcoming and showed love and compassion towards each family as they helped them personally pick out food items. Providing these families with food really helped to strengthen bonds between the campus and the community. Ross Medical Education Center has truly been enlightened and humbled by this experience.
If you are interested in helping, contacting your local food bank is a good start. Food is always helpful to donate whether it is around the holidays or off season. Additionally, local charities always need volunteers who can give their time. For more information about Evansville Rescue Mission, visit their website at www.evansvillerescuemission.org.