Orgs. on campus celebrate Thanksgiving with those who cannot go home

Kristina Thomas, Feature Writer
November 19, 2012
Filed under Top Stories, Wright Life

Raidersgiving is a term to describe how the WSU community will celebrate Thanksgiving with students who will not be able to make it home for the holidays. This is a community effort with USAC, We Serve U and Residence Services.

According to Sommer Todd, organizer for Raidersgiving and Business & Clinical Operations Manager for Psychiatry, the concept originated from Ohio State University. They began the event years ago with the gathering of 25 graduate students who didn’t have the opportunity to go home for Thanksgiving.

Now Raidersgiving helps thousands of students and needs hundreds of volunteers. Todd and Craig This, organizer of Raidersgiving, Data Analyst for President Administration and Institutional Research USAC Chair, have focused on modeling that concept and bringing it to WSU.

“We anticipate a lot of students because of the time difference,” Todd said. “Last year we were on quarters and had a longer break, this year, since we are on semesters and have to return to school on Monday, the chances for students to leave for both Thanksgiving break and Christmas break are slim.”

“Our goal is to [give students] a chance to have Thanksgiving,” This said. “They can mingle and meet other students. This can make them feel part of the WSU community and not be lonely during this time.”

According to Todd and This they’ve sent out individual emails to students and plan to keep promoting the event through the Athletic department. A challenge in the planning process is getting students to actually sign up and know about this event.

The food served will be a traditional Thanksgiving style. They’d like to keep it diverse because International Students, who are not used to this tradition, may attend.

“This is our first time doing this. We have so many volunteers and a small number of students signed up for the dinner, we might have to turn some volunteers away. Instead of ordering catering, we’ve decided to cook for ourselves.”

WSU is also hoping to pull something together for students the day after Thanksgiving, such as a list of events going on in downtown Dayton and a Bus Schedule. Organizers plan to keep this going and will open it to Faculty and families in our area. The Alumni Association, Sodexo and Student Government will fund Raidersgiving.

Not only will students be able to eat, they will be able to write cards for children in Children’s Medical Center. This is serviced through We Serve U, who will deliver the cards to children during the holidays.

Food will be served on Nov. 22 at noon at Forest Park Community Center. Volunteers are expected to be there from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. For more information about Raidersgiving please contact Craig This at craig.this@wright.edu or Sommer Todd at sommer.todd@wright.edu.

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