Typically when people think of Thanksgiving, they think of football, turkey and all the trimmings; however, Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students are thinking family, friends and service.
Junior Kenny Maher expressed his excitement for spending the holiday with his brothers. Originally from Maine, he is unable to go back home for Thanksgiving, but a trip to his brother’s house in Indianapolis is enough, he said.
“For those of us who can’t make the trip back to our home states, its nice to have other loved ones to spend the day with,” Maher said.
Audrey Dalrymple, a Saint Mary’s sophomore, is also excited to go home for a little while.
“I’ve been waiting for break since last week,” she said. “Although I am still going to have a lot of work to do, I’m happy that I will be surrounded by my family, for whom I am very thankful.”
For those students who aren’t going home for break, Saint Mary’s College is offering an alternative take on Thanksgiving. Students have the opportunity to travel to Indianapolis to participate in a variety of service projects with the Peace Institute.
Kate Williams, director of the program and a Saint Mary’s alumnae, said six students will be helping at the Mozel Sanders Foundation, which serves thousands of individuals in Indianapolis each Thanksgiving.
“They will be volunteering at the Drumstick Dash, an annual 5K that benefits the Wheeler Mission,” Williams said, “[They will be] serving meals with the Mozel Sanders Foundation, and [they will volunteer] with a local congregation working to meet the needs of the community.”
Mallory Price, a Saint Mary’s senior, is excited to participate in this event.
“I felt that this year, I didn’t want to sit around the dinner table in the comforts of my own home because I can say that I am thankful all I want, but there is no reason why I shouldn’t take action and truly demonstrate that I [am] thankful for the life and opportunities I have,” she said.
Another Saint Mary’s student participating in the event, sophomore Anabel Castaneda, said she turned down the option of going home in order to serve.
“It’s a different way of experiencing a holiday — giving back to those who don’t have the option of going home like I do,” Castaneda said.
Price said while serving turkey on Thanksgiving may not seem to make a huge difference, it’s the relationships she will form with community members that will be the true change.
“Each time we listen to another person, or we come together in solidarity, or we challenge the status quo and how the world operates, and we put others’ needs before our own, we empower others, we come together and the world is changed,” Price said.