Gaels give back with annual Thanksgiving basket drive



The Of ce of Mission and Ministry collected 150 baskets from student donots. The baskets were then transported to different organizations for families in need.

Krystal Ortiz, News Editor

The Office of Mission and Ministry ran Iona College’s annual Thanksgiving basket collection involving various clubs and organizations on campus on Nov. 25 in the Mulcahy Gym.

The office gathered 150 baskets and loaded them onto trucks to be driven to different organizations for distribution to families in need.

Preparation for the annual drive took place a month in advance. First, several outside organizations were contacted so that the office could get the information on families in need. Next, the office retrieved departmental emails, student leader emails and contact information on previous donors to get people to register for the drive. Finally, donors were assigned family names and sizes for their baskets, according to Campus Minister and Iona in Mission Special Programs Assistant Tamia Reyes.

“This program means a lot to me personally because I know how hard it can be for some during the holidays, financially, emotionally and mentally,” Reyes said.

OMM heavily focuses on the theme of giving, even after the Thanksgiving season.

“Giving is something we like to do year-round, whether it’s tutoring children at the Boys and Girls Club, Hospitality Suppers or Midnight Runs,” Reyes said.

The organizations that received the donations were the New Rochelle Boys and Girls Club, HOPE Community Services, Greyston Foundation Child & Youth Services and Abraham House.

“For the holidays, it is especially important that we as an Iona community give to those in our direct neighborhood because we are not the only ones in the area and we should have a strong connection with the community,” Reyes said.

Many of the donors included clubs such as the Psychology Club, Biology Club, Black Student Union, OLAS, Colleges Against Cancer and the Entrepreneurship Club.

“Psychology Club chose to participate in Iona’s annual Thanksgiving basket drive because it is a great cause that helps local families be able to enjoy the Thanksgiving they deserve,” junior and Psychology Club president Amanda Bartley said.

Bartley further explained her club’s choice of joining by emphasizing the importance of giving back during the holiday season.

“Our members are passionate about helping others, and this is especially important around the holidays when some people might be feeling the impact of their troubles in a more pronounced manner,” Bartley said.

Reyes hopes members of the clubs and organizations that participated enjoyed the experience of donating to the drive.

“I hope others enjoyed personalizing a basket for a specific family and reflected on how much they supported them by giving a basket,” Reyes said. “I hope by coming to the ceremony everyone felt an overwhelming feeling of unity and support from Iona itself by seeing how strong our service can be if we work together.”