Students gathered in Sherman Circle last Thursday through Saturday to participate in "Trick the Town," an annual food drive and prelude to "Stuff the Bus."These two events, which were sponsored by Sodexo, were set up to collect food for impoverished residents of Macomb and the surrounding area. This food is then distributed by Loaves Fishes and the Black Student Association.
Loaves and Fishes provides food for the needy, regardless of their income, while the Black Student Association provides traditional Thanksgiving meals, including sides and desserts, for those that are not usually able to enjoy them. This is the third year for Stuff the Bus, and second year for Trick the Town.
Eva Galbraith, Sodexo marketing manager and organizer of Stuff the Bus, explained the steps taken for Trick the Town in preparation for Stuff the Bus.
"Groups of people from all over campus come to help pass out bags and flyers all around town," Galbraith said. "We divide Macomb into 25 sections and send a different group to each section. The groups that come out include hall governments, clubs, fraternities, the Feminist Action Alliance, the Black Student Association and several more." Galbraith said these groups were "energetic people who have so much to give."
Flyers explained Western is collecting food for those less fortunate, and asked that the citizens of Macomb help out by filling the provided bags with non-perishables. These same groups will return to the houses on Oct. 23 to collect the food. Residents should leave the food on their front porches in the provided bags.
Trick the Town was described by Galbraith as a warm-up for Stuff the Bus. Stuff the Bus will be held Nov. 9 at Walmart, Hy-Vee, County Market, and the Courthouse Square from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. and at Sherman Circle from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to come out and bring non-perishables. Last year, 14,000 pounds of food were donated during Stuff the Bus. The Go West bus system is helping out, and the goal for this year is 13,500 pounds of food.
Trick the Town requires the participation of 25 organizations and groups, while Stuff the Bus operates with the help of more than 200 volunteers.
Sigma Chi is one of the organizations participating in these events. The fraternity has been helping with Stuff the Bus for three years by collecting and organizing cans, participating in Trick the Town, recruiting volunteers, and sending members to sit on the executive board.
Junior emergency preparedness major and president of Sigma Chi, Justin Boughton, said, "I like doing something that will leave a legacy at Western and go on for years."
Josh Mercado, junior psychology major, said, "I've been blessed in life and I feel it's my responsibility to help others."
Junior recreation, parks, tours and administration major Andrew Mueller said he volunteers because, "I enjoy helping the community. My parents taught me the importance of helping others, and it's good to let others know they can do more than just donate money."
Campus organizations compete with each other to bring in the most food and provide the most hours of volunteer work. Each residence hall is also holding a contest. The floor in each building to collect the most food will win a pizza party with enough pizza, chips and drinks for the entire floor.
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