Rivier University’s annual Thanksgiving Basket Project surpassed last year’s 408 basket total, with 465 food baskets collected.
Rivier students, staff, faculty and religious assembled the Thanksgiving baskets for distribution to local agencies as part of an Interfaith Thanksgiving Prayer Service held on Rivier’s campus. The baskets included various holiday food items for local families in need, along with Thanksgiving turkeys. Sunset Heights Elementary School students and staff also attended the service; they have contributed to this project for the past 25 years with food drive donations.
“This Thanksgiving tradition offers us an opportunity to reach in, reflected in the food that surrounds us, in gratitude, support and recognition of our neighbors,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, President. “It also offers us the opportunity to reach out, to fulfill Rivier’s mission of ‘transforming hearts and minds to serve the world.’”
Rivier students and Br. Paul Demers, Rivier's Chaplain and Associate Professor of Religious Studies, offered words of thanksgiving and prayer during the service.
Twelve Nashua-area agencies attended the service and gratefully collected the baskets. Rivier students assisted in transporting the baskets and other food donations to agency vehicles following the service.
Partnering agencies this year include Anne Marie House, CareGivers, Inc., Corpus Christi Food Pantry, Greater Nashua Mental Health at Community Council, Harbor Homes, HIV/AIDS Task Force, Keystone Hall, Nashua Foundation for Oncology/Hematology, Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, NH Catholic Charities, The Salvation Army, and Title One.
Mary Jane Silvia, Director of Campus Ministry, says, “At this time of year as we pause to give thanks to our good God, I am always struck by the amazing generosity of people. I find the spirit of service and caring at Rivier to be inspiring.”