A group of Western students have banded together to lend a hand this holiday season to the residents Goderich. And they are asking for your help.
This past August, an F3 tornado carved a 500 metre-wide path through the centre of the small Huron County community. With more than 300 homes and businesses affected, the students have developed an outreach program, The Project Goderich Food and Gift Drive, to gather donations, specifically targeted for teenagers, to be allocated by the Goderich Christmas Bureau.
“When news of the disaster reached London, I felt compelled to support the people of Goderich in some way,” says Melissa Kargiannakis, president of the Faculty of Health Sciences Students’ Council.
With the help of fellow students Emily Overgaard, Navpreet Singh, P.B. Hundal, Brian Ingoldsby, Shauntel Seaton and Angela Spineto, the project fits the current mandates of Western’s residence life programs, such as community service learning.
“We hope this will be an experience that will provide students with an opportunity to see the results of their efforts,” Kargiannakis adds. “When donating to natural disasters abroad, it is difficult for students to continue the connection and learning as they do not always see the benefits of their efforts. This project allows students to continue learning across the whole outreach experience.”
With limited resources to tackle this endeavor, the students are calling on the London community to provide any support they can. Food and gift donations can be dropped off at London City Hall, 300 Dufferin Ave., through Friday, Nov. 25.
On campus, staff, students and faculty can bring non-perishable food items and gift donations to Elgin Hall, Room 102, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., until the items are delivered to Goderich Dec. 3.
“Our students do service learning and community projects all over the world. But with this project they recognized there is need close to home and have risen to the challenge to assist the Goderich community,” says Susan Grindrod, Housing and Ancillary Services associate vice-president.