College Community Spreads Thanksgiving Holiday Cheer

The Merrimack College community brightened the holidays for dozens of needy families this week by donating and delivering full Thanksgiving meals through the Neighbors in Need program in Lawrence.

The initiative, an annual Merrimack tradition involving faculty, staff and students, was coordinated by campus ministry. More than seven van-loads of food was collected and distributed this year.

“There is a big need in Lawrence for assistance, and there are a lot of families that wouldn’t be having Thanksgiving if there weren’t this basket drive,” said Maggie Morrin, an Augustinian Volunteer working in campus ministry. “That’s the main reason we do this.”

She sent out a list of Thanksgiving staples and optional items as a guide for the basket drive with everything from turkey to cranberry sauce on the menu. Cash donations were also accepted to buy food.

Around campus, friends, co-workers and entire departments came together to pitch in. The average basket purchased through Sodexo cost about $50, but donors who chose to create their own baskets had discretion on spending.

Schuyler Jordan ’20, a marketing major from Newport, Rhode Island, was helping load the baskets into vans outside Cascia Hall Tuesday morning. After lifting, loading and shifting box after box, he estimated they each weighed at least 40 pounds.

“I’m going to have a big Thanksgiving dinner, so it’s good to help out other people so they can have one, too,” Jordan said.