Rivier University's annual Thanksgiving Basket Project exceeded last year's record with 491 food baskets and turkeys collected for local families in need.
Students, staff, faculty, and alumni participated in this community service project with food and cash donations. The Campus Ministry Office organized the event and gathered the baskets for presentation in the Dion Center Reception Room. Keeping with tradition, an Interfaith Thanksgiving Prayer Service was held on November 22 to give thanks and bless the food, volunteers, recipients, and community.
"Recognizing the needs of our neighbors, we celebrate Thanksgiving through this generous outpouring," said Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, Rivier's President, gesturing to the hundreds of food baskets lining the room. "May we always be mindful of and willingly fulfill the needs of others."
In addition to Sister Paula and University administrators, Rivier students offered words of thanksgiving and prayer during the service. A community partner in this project, Sunset Heights Elementary School students and staff attended the service; they have generously contributed to this project for the past 28 years with food drive donations.
Thirteen Nashua-area agencies attended the service, after which the food baskets were loaded into their waiting vehicles by Rivier students, coaches, faculty and staff.
Partnering agencies for 2016 include Anne-Marie House, CareGivers, Inc., Corpus Christi Food Pantry, Greater Nashua Mental Health at Community Council, Healthy at Home, HIV/AIDS Task Force, Keystone Hall, Nashua Foundation for Oncology/Hematology, Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, NH Catholic Charities, The Salvation Army, Title One, and, for the first time this year, C.O.R.E. (Community Outreach Resource & Education Center) Nashua.
"I am continuously amazed by the response of the Rivier community," says Kristin Nelson, Director of Campus Ministry, "Their annual support of this project serves as an example and inspiration to all."