I think it goes without saying that we are living through challenging times and many people are struggling, but every little bit helps and goes a long way, especially when the entire BSU community rallies together and helps those in need.
This holiday season members of the Bridgewater State University community pitched in to bring food, toys, and clothing to those in need.
Over the past two months various individuals and organizations hosted food drives to benefit local food pantries, including BSU’s own, located on the ground floor of the Rondileau Student Union.
“I think it’s so important to recognize the need. There may be people on campus that, you look at them and think, they aren’t food insecure. I don’t look like someone who is food insecure, but if I didn’t live with my mom, I wouldn’t have the money to buy food” said Amy Considine, ’24, co-coordinator of the BSU Social Work Advisory Group (SWAG).
To support the BSU Food Pantry SWAG set up a bin in the social work office to collect food, and during the week of Thanksgiving group co-coordinator Kayla Angler, ’23, was also able to donate fresh artisanal bread from a nearby bakery.
“The bread hadn’t been sold and we were able to use it and prevent it from being thrown out,” Angler said.
President of BSU’s Environmental Action Team (EAT) Jenalyn Warcup, ’24, was happy to hear the bread was salvaged and put to good use.
“It’s nice to be able to see how we can be mindful about products we don’t use,” she said.
EAT’s mission is to spread awareness on campus about the environment and sustainability. The group hosted an ECO Holiday Exchange on Dec. 7, where products created from recycled materials were sold.
During the event, food donations and personal items, like deodorant and toothpaste, were also collected to benefit the BSU Food Pantry.
Bears Who Care oversees the day-to-day operations of the pantry and president of the student-led organization Emilie Lapointe, ’23, is grateful for the support.
“Seeing so many people collecting donations on our behalf, it’s so helpful. People may not realize it, but these acts can benefit others in more ways than they realize,” she said.
No one knows this better than members of Kappa Delta Phi who, for the past 29 years, have conducted a canned food drive with the town of Bridgewater.
At the end of November, members of the BSU fraternity hand-deliver bags to Bridgewater resident’s doorsteps and ask for canned food donations.
This year, more than 1,000 bags were handed out, yielding over 2,600 pounds of food that went to local food pantries in the area.
“It’s more than just donating to charity; it’s putting out to the community that we care. We realize that this isn’t a college town, but a town with a college in it. We respect our community and want to help and build a connection, and this has been a great way to do that,” said Kappa Delta Phi President Sean Howe, ’23.
For the past 20 years sociology Professor Kim MacInnis has also helped others in need by reaching out to the campus community and asking for toys that have benefited various organizations.
This year, the toy drive supported the Conway House Shelter in Middleboro.
“The BSU campus is always so generous, the gifts come pouring in,” MacInnis said. “It’s overwhelming how many gifts our faculty and staff give each year. Every year it takes three full carloads to deliver the toys. Our faculty and staff are just incredible.”
Sociology Professor Meghan Murphy, who oversees the BSU sociology club, agrees when it comes to the campus community’s generosity.
Every fall the sociology club hosts a winter gear drive; this year’s donations supported the Red Cross.
“We have been blown away at the response from the BSU community,” Murphy said. “I think it goes without saying that we are living through challenging times and many people are struggling, but every little bit helps and goes a long way, especially when the entire BSU community rallies together and helps those in need.”
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