Georgetown Gives Back in Spirit of Thanksgiving
November 22, 2011 – From mobile soup kitchens to spearheading food drives, Georgetown students, faculty and staff are giving back to the community in honor of Thanksgiving.
Hunger and Homelessness Week, part of the President Obama’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, kicked off Nov. 13 with a mobile soup kitchen, delivering warm meals to D.C.-area parks.
Hoya Outreach Programs & Education (HOPE) sponsored the event.
“This week to us means giving a voice to a community of people who are routinely ignored and treated as less than human,” said Liz Cerabino (C’12), co-chair of HOPE with Katherine Perzan (C’12).
“We think Hunger and Homelessness Week is especially important this time of year,” Perzan said, “because it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holidays and forget that there are many people in D.C. and across the country who feel like they are alone in the world and have nowhere to turn.”
‘Be the Change’
A total of 15 Georgetown students participated in a Nov. 15 trip to the Capital Area Food Bank, sponsored in coordination with the student-run Corp Service & Outreach Committee. The Corp runs a convenience store on campus.
The volunteers repacked food donations, sorted fresh producer and packed bags for delivery.
The trip was part of the Corp’s “Be The Change” campaign, an effort to raise funds for the organization Feeding America, a hunger relief charity.
Ellie DiBerardino (C’13) came up with the idea of asking Corp customers to round their purchases up to the next whole dollar to raise money for the organization. Funds will continue to be collected at other campus stores through the end of the semester.
“There are so many students and faculty who quietly lead Georgetown's outreach in the community, the Corp is privileged to follow the example so many others set,” said Will Cousino (SFS’12), chair of the service and outreach committee.
On Nov. 18, students participated in Friday Food, which entailed making sandwiches and delivering them to the homeless in Dupont Circle, and the entire Georgetown community participated in the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon on Nov. 19
Food for All
At the Medical Center, Gretchin Rydin, an associate director in the Office of the Executive Vice President, spearheaded a food drive for Food For All, a volunteer, organization that packages and delivers food to those in need.
Food for All also received donations from a Medical Center-sponsored food drive.
“The organization itself delivers food every Saturday morning and is always in need of volunteers,” Rydin said.
Law and Interfaith
Students and staff at the Law Center donated winter clothing and perishable food for a two-weeklong holiday drive for Courtney’s House, a nonprofit organization that helps victims of human trafficking.
The Black Law Students Association helped So Others Might Eat (SOME), sign people people for the Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger this past weekend. SOME provides food, clothing and health care to the homeless and less fortunate in D.C.
The Georgetown community held student Interfaith Council’s annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Prayer Service, which also included songs of thanks from various religious traditions.
“The Thanksgiving holiday offers us a special time to come together as an interfaith community and give thanks," said Jordan Denari (SFS’13), Interfaith Council president.