Westporters Give Back During Thanksgiving Season

Westporters Give Back During Thanksgiving Season

The St. Jude's club took part in a the "Give Thanks Walk" to benefit the St. Jude's Hospital during the Thanksgiving season. | Photo by Nicolette Weinbaum '12

As Thanksgiving season arrives, Staples students and the Westport community come together to help those who are less fortunate by collecting cans, raising money, and raising awareness throughout the community.

The St. Jude’s club at Staples participated in the “Give Thanks” walk in New York City on Saturday Nov. 20, 2010 at Columbus Circle. The St. Jude’s club raises research money for children who are struggling with cancer.

The president and founder of the club, Emily Harris ’11, has high hopes for the fundraising of the walk.

“So far, we have raised about 912 dollars in sponsorship money,” Harris said.

According to Harris, there are other St. Jude fundraisers for the season. These include bake sales, and the “Team Up” fundraising campaign.

All money raised goes directly to research for curing cancer and other fatal illnesses affecting children

“We fundraise during Thanksgiving because at this time, people are very reflective and motivated to give back to others,” she said.

Many other Staples students have participated in Thanksgiving season fundraising through other worthy charities in Westport such as the National Charity League and Al’s Angels.

Al’s Angels is an organization founded by Al DiGuido, with the mission of providing moments of joy and comfort to families that are challenged by childhood cancer, rare blood diseases, AIDS, domestic violence and financial hardship.

Builders Beyond Borders, (B3) which participates in community service throughout the year, chose to work with Al’s Angels in a can drive that took place in the B3 warehouse with about 150 volunteers. Craig Skinner, managing director of B3, felt that Al’s Angels was an optimal organization to have his students participate in.

This fundraiser helped collect and assemble over a thousand food bins for people with blood disorders, aids, and abused women in the tri-state area.

“I think it’s important for our students to know that there are people out there that need help, people that are hungry, especially this time of year,” Skinner said.“This is a time of year for people to be thankful for what they have. There are a lot of people out there who don’t have a lot to be appreciative for, and it’s important for our community of students to help those people out; it really is a rewarding experience,”

The Westport chapter of the National Charity League (NCL) is also making the contribution of a warm meal this season. Member of the NCL, Michelle Elsas ’12, says that NCL is a great way to get involved with the season of being thankful.

“NCL is making a Thanksgiving dinner this year. Each girl and their mom will work together bake a traditional meal for the dinner. There are girls making stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes and cookies,” Elsas said.

“We put them together to feed the people in the Bacharach house, as well as deliver it to less fortunate families on Thanksgiving in Westport.”

As exemplified by so many Westport students, that spirit of giving thanks during this season is as strong as ever.