A sign outside of the Water Street Mission showcases a message to those who walk by. BREONNA DULL/SNAPPER
Associate Features Editor
Many of us will gather around the dining room table with family and friends for our Thanksgiving feast next week. However, not everyone is able to afford that luxury, now or in any season. We can help out in our community by donating food, clothes, money, or our time. There are plenty of opportunities around Millersville, and some are within walking distance of campus.
Millersville Community Church located on Frederick street accepts food and clothing donations. They have a cooler outside under the carport year-round for food donations and a small thrift store behind the parking lot. Grocery stores often have food drives throughout the holiday season. Be sure to check out John Herr’s in Millersville, Oregon Dairy on Oregon Pike, and various Giant locations. Many locations also host a Toys for Tots donation bin for children in poverty during Christmas. There are some donation bins throughout the campus, one is right outside the university store. Make sure your toy is new and unopened before donating. Extra or old clothes? Give them to a thrift shop like Community aid or Goodwill. They have easy drive-through and drop-off centers. Warm clothes and coats are especially needed this time of year.
Don’t have money to donate? That’s okay! Time can be even more valuable. Showing up to personally contribute to nonprofits is extremely meaningful to the community. There are multiple great shelters and services in Lancaster City for the homeless. Consider volunteering a few hours at one of these locations in any job that interests you.
Water Street Missions is a homeless shelter, they usually need help in the dining hall. It can be a valuable experience to be able to meet new people, serve them, hear their stories, or simply make their day a little better. Visit their website to donate online; they are giving away thousands of Thanksgiving meals and it only costs $2.96 to provide one. The Clare House is a safe housing and support space for mothers and daughters. You can volunteer here in many ways such as childcare, cleaning, gardening, or maintenance. There are more shelters such as the Transitional living center, Community action partnership, and the YWCA. Visit their websites for ways to get involved! You may be very busy this Holiday season, but don’t let our neighbors slip from your mind. Our community needs help year-round, so don’t forget to come back in the spring or summer.
Give the gift of life this year by sparing a turkey. It’s tradition for Americans to have their big roasted turkey stuffed with vegetables every Thanksgiving. But does making something a tradition automatically make it morally right?
According to the University of Illinois, “46 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving, 22 million on Christmas, and 19 million turkeys on Easter.”
Animal agriculture has an enormous impact on animals and our environment. Even farms awarded for being the most “humane” keep their turkeys in crowded buildings and consider the sentient beings as products. Their close proximity to each other allows for diseases to spread quickly and waste products to contaminate their food. Animals are bred to grow fast and large which sometimes makes them unable to support their own weight. Commercial turkeys are unable to fly like wild turkeys. The number of turkeys bred for Thanksgiving has increased dramatically over the last few decades. Animal farming also contributes to enormous amounts of CO2 emissions, land loss, and water use furthering climate change. This tradition is harmful to animals, the environment, and our own health. Reducing demand reduces supply and saves lives. So, consider trying a plant-based meal this year! There are thousands of easy and delicious recipes online. Don’t knock it until you try it!