Students Pitch in for Alumni Network Thanksgiving Food Drive
Each Thanksgiving, USF Dons, from students to staff, give back to the community by raising money to purchase meals and distribute them to families in San Francisco.
School of Management adjunct professor David Griffis ’89, JD ’92, and a band of volunteers from his business law class have been lending a hand to the USF Alumni Network’s annual Thanksgiving food drive for the past six years.
"While furthering the university's mission of sharing our God-given abundance with others and changing the world from here, it reminds us of former USF management professor Fr. Eamonn Barrett’s timeless admonition, 'It's not what you have at the end of the day, it's what you've shared along the way that counts,’” says Griffis.
On Nov. 21, Griffis’ students, along with volunteers including the USF baseball team and the alumni board of directors, helped pack and distribute boxes of food for 180 families. The meals went to 155 families in the Western Addition and 25 from the De Marillac Academy Catholic school in the Tenderloin.
The meal boxes included a turkey or ham, onions, potatoes, carrots, mac and cheese, cranberry sauce, green beans, canned broth, and evaporated milk.
For many of the 12 volunteers from Griffis’ class, it’s only their second or third experience of an American Thanksgiving. The students came from countries like China and Malaysia, and aren’t going home for the short holiday.
“This is the first time they’ve ever really integrated themselves into a food drive,” says Griffis. “It’s multicultural and we have a lot of fun.”
Though the professor offers extra credit to volunteers, he thinks the experience and the spirit of giving back are the true motivating factors. He’s had to cap the number of volunteers, because it’s become such a popular activity.
"What is so neat is that people at the top of the class who don't need extra credit do it," Griffis says.