Students Put Food on Thanksgiving Tables of Local Families

Several families in the community surrounding Notre Dame College were able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal this year thanks to generous donations by NDC students.

The students donated 53 turkeys and $570 to the Heights Emergency Food Center, which serves residents of Cleveland Heights, University Heights, South Euclid and Lyndhurst.

The women's softball team brought 36 turkeys to the table, men's soccer gave nine, lacrosse donated four, and women's golf and the College’s graduate assistants each provided two. The bowling team gave $50 and the residence life staff collected over $520.

“Campus Ministry would like to thank all those who participated in our Turkey Drive,” said Director of Campus Ministry Anthony Camino. “The Heights Emergency Food Center was ecstatic with the donations and for that we thank you.”

The Heights Emergency Food Center opened in Cleveland Heights in October 1981 with the aid of the Heights Interfaith Council. Staffed by volunteers, it began by serving nine families that month and now provides more than 575 families with a three-day supply of food once a month. Notre Dame College students, faculty and staff regularly donate to and volunteer for the center.

“It's great to see how generous our campus can be for the holidays,” said junior Elyse Houck, who coordinated the Turkey Drive. “The Food Bank could not express how thankful they were for our donations. They had just run out of turkeys when we dropped off the donations. It felt great to meet the local families we were helping.”

Hazel Haffner, volunteer manager at the center, said the donations from NDC were a great help.

“We gave the turkeys to the larger families and chickens to the smaller families. We also try to give them something extra for the holidays, like cranberries,” she said. “It was great to have the donations. The place was jammed.”

Haffner estimates the center served over 1,000 individuals for Thanksgiving and said Notre Dame had no small part in making it happen.

“What the students did made a difference,” she said. “Your students have always done a great job organizing food drives and volunteering their time.”