On Saturday November 22, I took part in the Thanksgiving Food Drive that was done by multiple Center for Community Service and Justice programs with the one here at Loyola College. Throughout the month of November, CCSJ was receive donations of canned goods and other non-perishable items that could be collected in order to be distributed at the food drive over at the CARES Food Pantry ten minutes away from campus. They would also buy turkeys to give out with the other goods as well. Then once Thanksgiving was around the corner, CARES would distribute packages of food based on the number of people that were in a certain person had to feed for the holiday and receive a set amount of food based off of that.
The handing out of the packages was where I came in. I had first learned about the Thanksgiving Food Drive through my FE 100, First-Year Experience, class. As part of the course, everyone was to take part in some sort of service project to possibly help get us involved and active in the service program here at Loyola. Partially because I was so busy for most of the year and part I wanted to do something interesting for this, I signed myself up to work for the food drive. In my senior year of high school, I had worked at a soup kitchen multiple times for my service project to graduate and had enjoyed it very much helped to feed people that were in need. I figured this would be very similar just that when I handed them the food, they would start digging in on it right away.
As myself and three other freshmen at Loyola made our way over to CARES, we introduced ourselves and were ready for a few hours of helping out many people in the surrounding area for the Thanksgiving holiday. We got out of the car to be greeted by a bone chilling cold atmosphere. Once being told how everything was going to work we awaited for the people to come and pick-up their packages. My job was the unpack the ice cold turkeys from the boxes and help put them into plastic bags to hand out to the people, then break down the boxes. After a while, holding frozen turkeys in your hands starts to make them hurt and you lose sensation in them. It was kind of interesting to see how some of the people were reacting to receive the packages. I thought that everyone was going to be happy and in a good mood that they were receiving some help in this time. Don’t get me wrong, most people were happy and very thankful to be getting it, but there were others that were sort of nasty. I was thinking like they seem as though they deserve this food and that we should be giving it out faster. It was just annoying to see how ungrateful some people can be when it comes to service. Then there was one woman who I remember who was so ecstatic about receiving a package. Since there was only a certain amount of people that the pantry could give food out to, some people were told to come at three o’clock to possibly pick up a package that was not claimed. This woman had come before three ready to be first to get one if she could. When the woman was told she would be receiving one, she latched onto the director of the food drive sobbing, and repeating over and over again “Thank you, thank you.” This display of overjoyed is similar to in “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare, when Viola and Sebastian finally realize that it is their sibling and that neither of them is dead. The excitement that both this woman and the characters from “Twelfth Night” must have felt must have been truly an amazing thing to experience.
Overall, the Thanksgiving Food Drive was a very rewarding experience to help bring some aid to those in need in such a wonderful time near the holidays. I hope to continue with this food drive and any other food drives local as well.