Service project provides holiday meals
PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (Nov. 12, 2012) - When UMES Residence Life Area Directors Clifton Harcum and Phillip Thomas set out to do a community service project, they do it in a big way.
The “Day of Thanksgiving” effort begun in 2009 to feed families in need in the Tri-County area has grown dramatically. In its first year, 150 families received boxes filled with the makings of a holiday dinner; the next, 300. Last year, 600 meals were distributed and this year, on Nov. 17—the goal is 900.
If they were in the proverbial story land, they’d be the conductors on the “Little Engine That Could.”
“We have created an annual event that supports members of the community who are challenged to feed their families on a daily basis,” Thomas said. “Being able to unite the campus and our neighbors, the community, to organize such an effort speaks to the character of those around us.”
Harcum and Thomas have again engaged the help of area social services offices and local community organizations to identify families that qualify for assistance. Vouchers have already been given to these agencies to be passed along to families so they can pick up their meals on the designated day. No meals will be served, Harcum said.
The Maryland Food Bank in Salisbury and area businesses donate non-perishable food items that volunteers from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the community will pack at 7 a.m. and distribute to families from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“To be able to provide assistance to our neighbors is an incredible feeling,” Harcum said. “I am honored to be in a position to give back”
Want to lend a hand donating food items or volunteering during assembly and distribution? Contact Harcum at 410-621-0497 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or Thomas at 410-651-8306 or by emailing email@example.com or just show up at the Tawes gymnasium on Nov. 17, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
(TOP) Residence Life Area Directors and GRASP Founders Clifton Harcum, left, and Phillip Thomas and spearhead the annual event
(BOTTOM) UMES volunteers from Campus Life student organizations, the Herman Franklin Paraprofessional Program and the Office of Residence Life pose during the 2011 “Day of Thanksgiving” community service event.