Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Erin Griffith
PORTALES—One group of freshmen at Eastern New Mexico University has gotten into the spirit of giving. Dr. Donald (Doc) Elder III's University 101 class is conducting a canned food drive through Nov. 20 in conjunction with Valencia Elementary School in Portales.
Initially, Dr. Suzanne Balch-Lindsey and Dr. Cheryl Pachak-Brooks, who run the freshman seminar program, had the idea that classes should perform a community service project. Dr. Elder's class had a competition to choose the best service project and the winning idea was a canned food drive with Valencia.
"For the class at Valencia that collects the most food, my freshman seminar class will throw them a pizza party. My 22 students will bring them pizza, fruit drinks and we'll have a party together," Dr. Elder said.
Students at Valencia collect the cans, then the students from Dr. Elder's class pick them up and deliver them to the Roosevelt County Food Bank.
"Todd Morris, the principal at Valencia, stresses that helping others is a great thing, and he loved the idea of working with my class," said Dr. Elder.
So far, the project has been a success; as of Nov. 10, one class at Valencia had already collected over 200 cans.
"One girl took the money that she had saved and went out and bought food. She was so touched by the idea of people going without that she bought $50 worth of canned food," Dr. Elder said.
Only two students in Dr. Elder's class are from Portales, the rest are from other areas. Dr. Elder finds it refreshing that students who come to ENMU care so much about the community.
"These kids understand what it means to give to the community and relate well to people from different parts of the country. Projects like this get kids to see the world differently and make a difference; I definitely have hope for the future," said Dr. Elder.
People interested in participating in the food drive can give donations to any student who attends Valencia, drop food off at Valencia, or contact Dr. Elder at 505.562.2601.