The Abilene community didn’t go hungry this Thanksgiving, thanks to many ACU students and local organizations.
The Service Action Leadership Team handed out about 50 Thanksgiving meals to families at Taylor Elementary on Nov. 23 as part of its Come Together ACU project.
“We delivered as many as they asked for,” said Mary Delaughter, the event’s student coordinator.
Delaughter said about 30 students volunteered to help assemble the meals and more came to deliver them. Each meal included a turkey, canned goods and other nonperishable items.
“To be able to know that meal made a difference for those families’ holiday was really special,” said Delaughter, sophomore missions major from San Angelo.
This year, Dr. Heidi Morris’ Families in Society class helped raise money for the SALT project by collecting money after Chapel and in the Bean on Nov. 12. Delaughter said the class was able to raise more than $300.
“It is important for students to step outside the ACU bubble and serve those who are in need, especially during these difficult economic times,” said Morris, adjunct professor of sociology and family studies, in a press release. “This project will allow them to see there is a real need right across the street from our campus.”
SALT asked several U100 classes to support one or two families by donating funds for a Thanksgiving meal. Many of the freshman classes that donated also came to pass out meals, Delaughter said.
“I feel like the involvement was what we needed,” she said.
Other organizations provided Thanksgiving meals, as well. The Salvation Army served lunch to about 275 people, and Veteran Services for Taylor County sponsored a lunch at the Abilene Civic Center. Jim Defoor, director of Veteran Services, said 200 volunteers, including many young people, came to serve nearly 1,200 people.