Everyone could use a helping hand around the holiday season, especiallly families who are in need. This project was launched November of 2006 after the government had decreased food stamps for some of our community members. The Elrod Center called upon the university to respond to the needs of their community.
Through the university’s generosity and compassion that year, the Elrod Center was able to give 30 families in Arkadelphia a traditional Thanksgiving meal with a turkey and all the items needed to complete the meal. The baskets were hand delivered by our students as well as faculty and staff.
Each year since then, the campus has continued this rich tradition of providing and delivering baskets of food for families. Approximately 50 families in this community are served each year. Lighthouse Ministries, area school counselors and Clark County Adult Education provide the center with names of families who are experiencing hard times and who could use the food.
“I got involved with Thanksgiving Day food Baskets because it gives me the opportunity to give back to the local community. Also this gives families a full Thanksgiving meal that they, other wise, would not have.” – Jennifer Coon, student
“Delivering the Thanksgiving Baskets was such an eye-opening experience for me. At Ouachita, it’s so easy to forget that we are surrounded by a community that is not blessed in the way that we are. However, I don’t think I will soon forget the look on one girl’s face when I told her that we had a basket of food for her. We live in a community that is spiritually hungry as well as physically, so it was so neat to be a part of fulfilling both of those needs as we prayed with people who were crying as they received the food. It was an incredible experience because it opened my eyes to the spiritual and physical needs of the people in Arkadelphia and showed me that I can make a difference.” - Hannah Bridges, student