HSU Sponsors Thanksgiving Food Drive

November 15, 2022 Jaidyn Kamplain

For the third year in a row, Hardin-Simmons University will sponsor the Thanksgiving Food Drive for families at Ortiz Elementary School.  

The Thanksgiving Food Drive is coordinated by the Dean’s Office of the College of Health Professions (CoHP), which involves the campus by reaching out to campus offices, residence halls, and student organizations to encourage participation. Groups are invited to fill a grocery bag provided by United Supermarkets with necessary Thanksgiving food items or make a monetary donation to cover the cost of a turkey.  

COHP students organizing food items for the Thanksgiving Baskets.

CoHP students organizing food items for the Thanksgiving Baskets.

United Supermarkets graciously donates freshly baked rolls to complete the baskets, which are assembled by the HSU CoHP faculty and students and later delivered to Ortiz Elementary School. 

Located just around the corner from campus, Ortiz Elementary is an “adopted” sister school of HSU. Ortiz Elementary has many administrators and faculty members with ties to HSU.  Additionally, ninety-three percent of children who attend Ortiz are classified as economically disadvantaged; the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive is a small way to share blessings with our neighbors. 

At least one family from each classroom is identified and asked if they would like to receive the gift. This year, 52 filled food baskets will be delivered to Ortiz on Nov. 16 for 52 different families. The families enjoy a wonderful meal, and the HSU participants enjoy Thanksgiving knowing they helped feed a family. 

Dr. Janelle O'Connell, Dean of the College of Health ProfessionsDr. Janelle O’Connell, Dean of the College of Health Professions and Professor of Physical Therapy, shared the following message as a Thanksgiving encouragement:  

Thanksgiving traditions typically involve reflecting on our blessings and sharing our abundance. Hardin-Simmons University, those who work here, and those who choose to attend this faith-based institution are blessed enormously and in many ways.

As stated in Hebrews 13:16: “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Therefore, giving to our neighbors is one-way HSU can demonstrate our mission of providing an education enlightened by faith and action; God commands us to put our faith and love into action.

The economy in 2022 has been challenging for all of us. Food prices have increased tremendously, and we all feel it in our pocketbooks at the grocery store. Sharing a Thanksgiving basket is just one small way we can share our love and abundance with others.  This small act demonstrates the love of our neighbor but also reminds me there is more happiness and joy to be found in God when we give. 

I want to personally thank our HSU family for remembering our responsibility to love God and to love our neighbor, as well as United Supermarket on Ambler for their willingness to work with us.  I am grateful for the generosity of the HSU and United Supermarkets communities, who have allowed us to provide a nourishing meal to others on this wonderful day of thanksgiving. Ortiz E.S. Students enjoying their Thanksgiving baskets

As we each share our Thanksgiving meal with our loved ones, don’t forget another family is doing the same, thanks to YOU!”