‘Nova students give back

Kelly Skahan

While teachers slip in that one last test before break and students pack their bags and print their plane tickets in anticipation of a vacation at home, many campus organizations are carrying out the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday. Through various charity events that last the entire week, Villanova clubs are contributing to the underprivileged in the community.

Events on campus this week have not only reflected being thankful for what we have, but also on giving others what they need. This proactive approach to the holiday season is the driving force behind Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, an annual event at Villanova aimed at taking action against poverty in the Philadelphia area.

Though most students are eagerly anticipating a few nights in their own beds and the inevitable food-induced coma that will come next Thursday night, organizations have tried to highlight the very situation for those who don’t have the luxury of a place to sleep or a Thanksgiving feast.

On Wednesday night, the “Cardboard City” took place outside of St. Rita’s Chapel, with participating students encouraged to put themselves in the place of someone struggling to find shelter. Participants were also encouraged to donate to charities for the homeless as a reflection on the experience.

Today, a day-long, campus-wide fast is encouraged for all students, with meal plan donations being accepted by Campus Ministry. For each meal donated, Campus Ministry will contribute $5 to OxFam America, an organization committed to solving world hunger and putting an end to poverty and social injustice.

Connelly Center has played a pivotal role in the activities of the week. Since Monday, various organizations, including NROTC and the band, have participated in a penny drive. Students can donate pennies to any organization, all of which are competing to raise the most money for charity.

House of Grace has also set up a table, called “The Poor Store,” where Villanovans can purchase toiletries and essentials that will be donated on their behalf to the needy in the community.

Friday night will see the culmination of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, with the Campus Ministry Turkey Drive taking place at St. Rita’s Hall. The drive is also a function of Project Home, which brings supplies and ingredients for a full Thanksgiving dinner to underpriviledged neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

A 5K Hunger Run will take place at 2:30 p.m. starting at the Oreo, with an entrance fee of $15 for all participants. Proceeds will also benefit Thanksgiving dinner donations.