GREENSBORO, N.C. – Typically in the month leading up to Thanksgiving, Guilford College’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) holds a campus-wide canned food drive along with other institutions in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). While the drive fosters an environment of fun competition among the ODAC schools to collect the most cans, the main focus is to give back to local communities.
The impacts of COVID-19 have forced many changes, including an inability for the annual canned food drive to be held. However, Guilford’s SAAC decided to pivot and create “Activate Feast Mode”, a campaign to raise money to purchase Thanksgiving meals and gift cards for local families.
SAAC partnered with The Center For New North Carolinians (CNNC) in order to connect with families who may be in need of assistance. The CNNC promotes access and integration for immigrants and refugees in North Carolina by bridging newcomer populations with existing communities through direct service provision, research, and training.
The board of SAAC, including co-Presidents Corby Brooke and Ben James, encouraged teams, students, and on-campus clubs to donate in the hopes of bringing the Guilford community together to in turn help those less fortunate. “Activate Feast Mode was created to provide more meaning to our asynchronous, socially distant world. We used SAAC to facilitate the fundraiser, but our ultimate goal was to motivate student-athletes and students across campus to give. The pandemic has resulted in a financial crisis for many, but despite its impact, we must not forget that we are more privileged than others in our community,” said Brooke.
“Activate Feast Mode” fundraising wrapped up on November 11. SAAC was able to purchase enough food to supply 10 local families with a Thanksgiving dinner basket as well as gift cards for 10 additional families, which were dropped off at CNNC for distribution. “In our eyes, this is a success,” said Brooke, “Ben and I are most grateful for the efforts of Guilford’s student-athletes, students, coaches, and athletic administration.”