During the week of Nov. 14, all Greek organizations at Lewis, including Delta Sigma Pi, sponsored a Thanksgiving Food Drive, which will help out people in need at the Spanish Community Center in Joliet.
“Delta Sigma Pi is required to do a certain number of service events every year and I think the requirement is six,” said Delta Sigma Pi president and senior double accounting and business analytics major Danielle Mulligan. “We try not to follow that and just do as much as we can to benefit the community around us.”
For this particular event, for many organizations at Lewis, it’s been difficult to encourage people to attend events held at school, so Mulligan thought it’d be nice to have a service opportunity that didn’t require people to attend events on campus.
“I figured a food drive could benefit a lot of people in our community,” said Mulligan. “Initially, we didn’t know where we were going to give the goods to, but I met with the ministry here on campus and they gave me some options.”
All items donated to the drive will be given to the Spanish Community Center in Joliet, due to the depletion of resources for people in need at the institution. There has been a deficit of resources because the past few months, the Chicagoland area has welcomed over 4,000 Venuezuelan asylum seekers.
“We ended up going with the Spanish Community Center because of the issues they’ve been having, helping the people in the community,” said Mulligan. “Their resources have been spread really thin, so I figured that this would be a good opportunity to help a lot of people.”
The most needed food items are: baby formula, cereal, rice, dried or refried beans, bottled water, tortillas, crackers, snack foods, trail mix, granola bars, canned goods, soup and just anything nonperishable.
“The Spanish Community Center over here in Joliet is looking for any non-perishable goods like rice and dried beans,” said Mulligan.
Along with nonperishable food items, the community center is also looking for toiletries such as: diapers, wipes, toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, pads, tampons, adult diapers, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hand soap and hand sanitizer.
“They’re also looking for a lot of stuff for kids like diapers, wipes, baby formula, snacks, so it really sounds like they’ve got a lot of people that they’re trying to help,” said Mulligan.
At Lewis, there is a Unity Greek Council for all of the Greek organizations on campus, so Mulligan reached out to Javier Rodriguez, who is in charge of Greek life at Student Activities.
“I reached out to Javier who works at [the office of] Student Activities, and he had just mentioned that it would be something that other people might be interested in helping out with, and I figured the more people we can get to help, the more we could get for those in need,” said Mulligan.
Currently, all of the donation bins for the food drive are located in all the main buildings on campus which includes the: James Gaffney Student Center, Sancta Alberta Chapel, Aviation Center, St. Charles Borremmeo, Recreation Center, Phillip Lynch Theater and all of the residence halls.
“The drive is this week, but I’ll probably leave them out through Thanksgiving Break,” said Mulligan. “Right now, they’re in most of the major buildings on campus, as well as the residence halls.”
The whole community, including students and staff at Lewis, are encouraged to donate items to this drive because it can help a vast amount of people at the center, as well as people on campus.
“We have such a diverse population here at Lewis and I think this year, more than 51 percent of the students here identified as a person of color,” said Mulligan. “It doesn’t just benefit those in the Spanish community…we’re a commuter school, so there’s tons of people in Joliet that could benefit from this, that are also students of Lewis.”
Everyone should be aware of this food drive because it’s important to know what’s going on in the community with the vast amount of people in need. It’s also important for people to support the people in the community since it’s the season of giving.
“I think it’s important to know what’s going on in the community and there’s an influx of 4,000 people who are in need,” said Mulligan. “That’s a big impact in our community…and it’s the holiday season [which means that] a lot of these people have left behind everything they have, so there’s no better time to help out.”
Since Mulligan is the student who organized this food drive, she feels that it’s a great cause and hopes that we can do a lot to help those people in need.
Along with food items and toiletries, the Greek organizations are accepting money donations, in order to be able to buy the things the shelter needs.
“We are also taking monetary donations and we do have a square storefront through Delta Sigma Pi, where we are taking cash donations, so that we can go shopping for the things that the shelter is looking for.”
Photo Credit: Katelyn Leano