Purdue University North Central students are continuing the campus tradition of collecting donations to provide Thanksgiving meals to deserving PNC students. Students in the Dean’s Leadership Group, along with the Accounting Club and MBA Leadership Council are working to collect donations of non-perishable food along with monetary donations that will buy turkeys, dinner rolls and other necessary items.
Elly Johansen, the Dean’s Leadership Group treasurer, volunteered to lead the food drive. “I believe everyone should have a nice meal on Thanksgiving,” said Johansen, who is a Social Work major.
The students have committed to proving food for Thanksgiving meals for the families of 30 students. This includes the turkey and traditional side dishes. Some of the food donations will provide some additional food staples such as spaghetti, rice, noodles, soup and other non-perishable items.
The outpouring of support has thrilled Johansen. “One student and her mother immediately donated $100,” she related. “When I put out a collection box at PNC – Porter County, a staff member handed me $50. The Chancellor has supported us; our Veterans have been very generous. People want to donate.”
Monetary donations are gathered through the on-campus sale of paper turkey cut outs for $1. Johansen is finding that many students, faculty and staff are giving more than the minimum donation.
The primary objective of the Dean’s Leadership Group (DLG) is to help its members develop their leadership skills through various campus and community projects. The 25 DLG members are asked to volunteer 50 hours of community service time a year. The students are involved with a number of activities each year and support on another in their efforts.
DLG President Paige Mellen, of Michigan City and a Business major with a concentration in Management, noted that leading a project can seem like a daunting task at times, but working through it and seeing your success is “empowering.”
“It’s a great feeling when you can see that your hard work has paid off,” she explained. “It seems like everyone pulls together and works for a good cause.”
A graduate of Morgan Township High School, Johansen said that she volunteered with a number of projects, but this is the first that she’s led, “It’s a lot of work, but there’s also a sense of achievement too. It is satisfying to know that we’re helping other students.”
While the students will never know the names of the recipients and their families who will receive the food baskets, that’s fine with Johansen and Mellen.
“I am satisfied just knowing that we are helping out and paying it forward,” said Johansen. “I am happy to be in a position to help.”