A charity food drive by students in human kinetics collected about 1,500 items and several hundred dollars for the Downtown Mission of Windsor, sorted and delivered Wednesday.
The project was sparked by kinesiology department head Dave Andrews, who wanted to add to the department’s annual charitable efforts with the Movember campaign by getting as many students as possible to support a community food drive. He issued a challenge to his first-year class and professor Paula van Wyk took up the challenge with her upper-year class.
The fourth-year students earned bragging rights by bringing in about 800 items—packages of pasta, boxes of cereal, jars of peanut butter, cans of beans and tomato sauce—almost 300 from a single student, Brandi Konkolowicz.
She says she harassed friends and family members to contribute canned goods or even cash.
“My goal for my friends was to fill my SUV and they did,” she says. “In addition to donations of food, I collected about $100 and went shopping. I went on student discount day, had my coupons out and price-matched.”
Helping out the needy through the Downtown Mission made her feel good, says Konkolowicz.
“It just makes you realize what you have,” she says. “You take it for granted that you don’t have to worry about your next meal.”
She credits Drs. Andrews and van Wyk for encouraging students to participate in the food drive: “A little bit from each person makes for a big contribution.”
Andrews agrees, saying he was very pleased with crates full of foodstuffs volunteers loaded into a van for the mission: “I think we’re going to help a lot of people.”