By Mallory Gatson, Staff Writer
November 21, 2021
While Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather around the table and enjoy a meal, it can be a sad time for families who are unable to do so. To provide Thanksgiving meals for families in the community, Ouachita’s Ben M. Elrod Center for Family and Community will give OBU students the opportunity to deliver Thanksgiving baskets on Monday, Nov. 22.
The Elrod Center has continued this act of service since it began in 2006. This year, the center is looking to feed 80-100 families in the Arkadelphia community.
The center will partner with Lighthouse Ministries, who provide names of families in need, the Sodexo catering company and a group of students in Ouachita’s event planning class.
Leading the project this year is Leigh Anne McKinney, assistant director of the Elrod Center.
“The goal with our Thanksgiving baskets is to provide a Thanksgiving-type meal for families in our community who might not otherwise have one,” McKinney said. “The baskets include all of the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal, and it will even include a ham, side items, books and Bibles for kids.”
While the baskets meet physical needs by providing a meal, they also provide impactful encouragement to the recipients. The families receiving the baskets do not know that they will be receiving one until the day of delivery. Students who participate will be able to witness the surprise and excitement of the families as they hear the good news.
“We love being able to provide a little love,” McKinney said.
The Elrod Center collected donations from students last week and invited students to help assemble the baskets last Thursday, Nov. 18. Students can help deliver baskets on Monday, Nov. 22 from 2-7 p.m.
In order for the project to succeed, the Elrod Center needs many volunteers to deliver. All students are welcome and encouraged to deliver Thanksgiving baskets to families in the community.