‘Giving tree’ and ‘turkey and trimmings’ programs spread holiday cheer to local families in need

Delaney Worth, Staff Writer

The Office of Civic Engagement provides two easily accessible opportunities to extend aid and generosity where one can. This mission is especially relevant during the holiday season.

The Turkey and Trimmings Holiday Baskets rely on student and faculty donations to provide baskets of Thanksgiving food to local agencies, who distribute the baskets to the community. According to the program’s website, these baskets have a minimum of 11 items: a gift certificate for a turkey, two boxes of stuffing, two boxes of potatoes, two cans of cranberry sauce, two cans of vegetables, one jar or can of gravy, and a basket or bag to carry it all in. 

This year’s goal was 120 baskets, which was surpassed—134 baskets will be provided to families in need through the SUN Area chapter of the American Red Cross, local Head Start programs, the Union County Assistance Office, and the Meadowview and Essex Place after-school program. This amount “will feed, with the monetary donations, about 600 local people,” the Office of Civic Engagement’s Assistant Director of Community Service Lynn Pierson said. 

“Bucknell’s generosity with this effort will have a huge impact on our very local community. Many of us can take having access to food for granted, much less how much we take for granted having food for the special holidays,” Pierson said.   

“It was a great opportunity to give back to others who are less fortunate than ourselves during the holidays,” Maddie Milligan ’17 said.

The second program is the Giving Tree which is the tree put up in the lobby of Bertrand Library prior to winter break. Gift requests are written on paper tags and hung on the tree. A student or faculty member can then choose a tag, purchase the gift, and bring it to the Office of Civic Engagement with the tag or a letter to the recipient.

According to the program’s page on the University website, last year 16 agencies requested these gifts. The community answered with gifts for community members ranging from infants to 98 years old. The tree is still accepting donations, which are due on Nov. 30.

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