Thanksgiving Gift Baskets

Thanksgiving Bags of Food and Love
By: Nicholas Hom ’18

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Several weeks ago, we all pulled out our wallets, casually handed over five dollars to our advisors and signed up to bring in a bag of some Thanksgiving-type food. But do we really know where the “holiday gift baskets” are going and whom we are helping? The creating of these gift baskets has been a tradition for as long as anybody at the school can remember. The donating of these baskets plays a big part in building community with our neighborhood and within our school because the baskets are put together with almost every member of every advisory – including most advisors – bringing in a certain food item. The baskets contain bread rolls, candy, potatoes, canned fruits and vegetables, pies, and several other holiday themed ingredients. And that $5? That actually went towards buying turkeys for all of the families. When all of the ingredients for each basket are collected, they are divided into equal sized bags and are brought over to St. Francis Xavier church. As most students know, the church is where weekly chapel is held and is home for the hearing impaired of the neighboring communities. Our gift baskets are made to help those who visit the church who are in need of a happy Thanksgiving meal, and when spring comes along, our school will be participating in another event similar to this one, but for Easter.
The event is organized and run by Mr. O’Connor, who has been running it since he started working in the school’s theology/service department in 2001. He, along with several other students, brought over the 50 bags worth of donated food and the turkeys over to the church on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Mr. O’Connor says that he loves how, “this event really reflects our community and represents our school well.” I personally agree with what Mr. O’Connor has to say because it really does take the entire school, not just one or two people, to make the entire event work. It does not take a large amount of effort to visit the store, find your food item, and bring it in, but in the end it means a lot to the person or family who is on the receiving end of our gifts. Knowing more about the gift basket program has helped me to understand how our small acts of help lead to something much bigger in the end.