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Junior runs Thanksgiving food drive
Juniors Nicole Sullivan and Lauren Glasheen stand outside of the Hamden ShopRite, cold and exhausted. They have been there since 9 a.m., asking shoppers to donate Thanksgiving food to Master’s Manna Incorporated in Wallingford, Conn. The girls are loading goods into Sullivan’s car when they realize not everything will fit. They’re now left with having to make two trips to Master’s Manna Inc. in order to give all of the nonperishable goods, Thanksgiving food and children snacks they have collected.
From Oct. 7 through Oct. 14, Sullivan organized a Thanksgiving food drive with Glasheen for Master’s Manna Inc. A majority of the food was collected when Sullivan and Glasheen asked for donations outside the Hamden ShopRite. The girls also received a significant amount by going door-to-door in Crescent Residence Hall, asking students for help. Although the food drive ended, Sullivan continued to receive donations from students and professors. By Oct. 22. Sullivan had donated 682 pounds of food.
Sullivan convinced Papa John’s to donate five pizzas to offer a free slice to students who contributed to the cause in Crescent.
“It felt amazing to see my peers digging in their cabinets,” Glasheen said. “The best part was that many students donated food and didn’t even want the pizza. It just shows how generous and willing to help people are.”
This represented how Quinnipiac students are better than the stereotype of “upper class snotty kids,” Sullivan said.
“At Quinnipiac, we are so much more than what other people perceive us to be,” Sullivan said. “Everyone that I told was so excited and couldn’t wait to help.”
Master’s Manna Inc. provides various free services such as a food bank, diaper bank, medical clinic and laundry machines for those in need, according to their website. Master’s Manna Inc. needs about 45,000 pounds of food each month to serve 1,700 families, Sullivan said.
Sullivan first got involved with Master’s Manna Inc. her freshman year as part of Quinnipiac’s Life of Commitment group. This year when Sullivan returned to Master’s Manna Inc., she was struck by how much the need in the community had increased.
Inspired by one mother, who knew she could not give her children anything for the holidays, Sullivan decided to organize a food drive for the organization.
“The holidays are such a special time for everyone,” Sullivan said. “You come together as a family and it is such a happy time, but what if you don’t have that? What if you don’t have a family, friends or a house? What do you do?”
Sullivan was guided by Director of Community Service Vincent Contrucci and Assistant Dean and Director of the Student Center Daniel Brown and resident assistants by giving her advice and helping her spread the word about the food drive.
Although she says it was hard work, Sullivan is proud of what she has done.
“Just to see the expression on [General Manager Mariann Sharp’s] face when I dropped off that much food made it all worth it,” Sullivan said. “I was exhausted, I was tired, but it is one of the best things I feel like I could have done in my life.”
Sullivan describes the food drive as a “humbling experience.”
“I get to go to sleep at night in a warm bed, fed, clothed,” she said, “and those people don’t have that necessarily.”
Sullivan will continue to volunteer with Master’s Manna Inc. and plans to do another food drive in the spring.