FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- There was a lot to be thankful for in Bridgeport Tuesday, when hundreds of turkeys were handed out to needy families at St. Charles of Borromeo parish.
Students from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield also gave bags of non-perishable food to the dozens of people lined up on a brisk morning as the church on East Main Street, organizers said.
The university’s Student Government and Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning worked together to raise money to purchase the Thanksgiving goodies and conduct a food drive with the campus ministry.
Andrea Canuel, assistant director at the Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning, said 375 turkeys were purchased. Of those, 275 were given to families at St. Charles and the other 100 were split among the Golden Hill Methodist Church and Alpha Community Services, both in Bridgeport.
Canuel said the university was just one of the many donors who gave canned goods to St. Charles.
“I think for our community, what seems like a small thing, like collecting canned goods, really makes a huge difference for one day or week for our neighbors,” she said.
As families waited for the turkeys to arrive, they stayed warm with the help of Chartwells, a food service truck, which provided hot chocolate and cookies.
Members of university’s men’s lacrosse team -- many dressed from head to toe in their red warm-up gear -- helped pass out the treats.
“This is a group effort,” said Jon Basti, the team’s head. “The guys like doing community service, and they wanted to do more. They know they’re helping people and they don’t mind doing it.”
Graduate student Erin McGunnigle, an education major, said she and others helped behind the scenes making sure everything got done properly and that enough donations were made to purchase hundreds of turkeys.
“We come here and see what it’s all about,” she said. “Everyone is so thankful.”
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