The University of Lethbridge community and its extended partners have come together to help make the Christmas season a little brighter for U of L students by stocking the shelves and raising more than $12,000 for the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union (ULSU) Food Bank.
The food and fundraising drive has helped to ensure that U of L students will not be turned away in their time of need and can continue to pursue their academic goals.
"Considering the current economic climate, it should come as no surprise our food bank is being utilized by students (both undergraduate and graduate) at record breaking numbers,” says ULSU President Cameron Howey. “Our students need support more than ever and it is amazing how the University community has come together in support.”
The various initiatives that contributed to the food bank included virtually every corner of campus. The University’s Board of Governors, Senate and General Faculties Council participated in a pass-the-hat fundraiser; Faculties facilitated piggy bank donations and a chili cook-off event; the IT and Finance departments engaged in their annual challenge; the Registrar’s Office held its annual peanut butter/jam fundraiser and a host of other initiatives all contributed to the cause.
“It is inspiring to witness our community come together and raise money to make sure no student goes hungry,” adds Howey. “Through the support of the University community, we are happy to say we have not turned a single student away from the food bank this year. We were also thrilled to see the effort of many partners of the University.”
The fundraising efforts extended to community business partners such as the U of L Bookstore, Starbucks Coffee, The Coffee Co. and others.
PCL Construction Management Ltd., the lead construction contractor for the U of L’s Destination Project, also got in on the act through a campaign that collected donations for both the ULSU Food Bank and three local families.
“We adopted three local families who needed a little extra help this Christmas along with making a cash and food donation to the ULSU,” says Anna Slater, PCL field office manager. “We were so overwhelmed with the response that not only U of L Destination Project staff and PCL staff made, but our trade contractors, too.”
Brian Sullivan, the U of L’s project director for the Destination Project, says the sense of community on campus is real.
“I feel so fortunate to have a great job and sadly there are many who aren’t in the same position right now,” says Sullivan. “That’s a sentiment that is clearly shared on this project as our trades, contractors and staff gave so generously. It’s a wonderful way to come together as a group and give back to the community and U of L students.”
Howey says students are fully aware of the support they receive on campus and are sincerely thankful for the generosity of the community.
“This is the largest amount we have ever raised during the lead-up to the holiday season,” he says. “In addition to all the efforts of our U of L community, this donation from the people involved with the Destination Project shows they are not only invested in the building, but also invested in bettering the student experience. On behalf of University of Lethbridge students, thank you. You’ve made this holiday season much brighter.”