Juniors donate Thanksgiving dinners to the NECHV

The+truckload+of+food+delivered+to+the+NECHV+the+day+before+Thanksgiving.

Julie Hohenberg

The truckload of food delivered to the NECHV the day before Thanksgiving.

Jacey Hinton and Kaitlyn Ewald

Juniors Emilia Tutun, Julie Hohenberg, and Tally Zeller heard there were veterans in need of food for Thanksgiving, and created a food drive benefiting the New England Center and Home for Veterans in their Run for Hope DECA project. The event ran from Wednesday, November 18 to Wednesday, November 25, and they were able to donate one truckload of 1,200 non-perishables and 20 hot Thanksgiving meals to the NECHV. 

This charitable event supplied 60 veterans with sufficient food to have full pantries for Thanksgiving. 

“Our food delivery impacted the veterans who were running low on food, providing them with full pantries, all in time for the Thanksgiving holiday,” Hohenberg said. 

Prior to the pandemic, the students made substantial progress in collecting donations for the raffle that was originally supposed to take place at the track meet concessions stand.

“One of the great things they had done was they had raised a significant amount of money even before the event had gone on, which was really awesome. So now they were able to take that idea and put a different spin on it,” business education teacher Corey Guerra said. 

The original plan of the project was initially to sell concessions at a track event in the spring, which was cancelled due to COVID-19. 

“They had done so much prep work before it that they had all these donations and they had all of this going for it, even before the event had started in the spring. When the pandemic hit, they wanted to do it and they wanted to continue it,” Guerra said.

With little help, the DECA officers were able to make an outline and gather donations for the drive. 

“All I did was lay out the ideas in terms of the project, but the three of them really went through with what they wanted to do,” Guerra said. 

Prior to the pandemic, the students made substantial progress in collecting donations for the raffle that was originally supposed to take place at the track meet concessions stand.

“One of the great things they had done was they had raised a significant amount of money even before the event had gone on, which was really awesome. So now they were able to take that idea and put a different spin on it,” Guerra said. 

Due to the lack of in person contact because of COVID, an alternate method of communication was used to raise awareness about the event. 

“To alleviate this issue, we used our social media accounts to send out reminders and progress pictures to keep everyone engaged,” Zeller said. 

The DECA officers strategically made a plan to work around the obstacles they were faced with relating to the lack of opportunities for donations.  

“We overcame these challenges by accepting money via Venmo that we would use to purchase non-perishables ourselves. We also offered home pick-ups,” Hohenberg said. 

This drive was an important way for the students to give back to the veterans and allow them to have a Thanksgiving.  

We realized how grateful we are for everything we have and wanted to help the veterans have their own Thanksgiving celebration,” Zeller said.