May 08, 2014
Communications and Marketing
In the midst of studying for and taking finals, a group of 30 Saint Anselm College students is also running the ninth annual Food, Clothing, and Furniture (FCF) Drive to benefit charities and more than 60 families in the Manchester area.
Collecting donations and unwanted belongings from their fellow students, FCF volunteers pickup, sort, and deliver food, home goods including lamps and televisions, furniture, and clothing, to those families identified by charitable organizations as most in need.
This year, FCF also asked the college community for specific items that college students often don't have in their rooms such as toys, business attire, and tables and chairs.
In just four days, they've collected more than 65 couches, 60 lamps, and enough mattresses to provide one to every person who asked for a bed.
All the donations now fill the perimeter of Sullivan Arena where volunteers sort clothes, shoes, toys, kitchen accessories, lamps, food, and furniture in preparation for deliveries on Thurs. and Fri., May 8 - 9.
"A lot of the families have nothing so we do our best to furnish their homes," said junior Elizabeth Duffy.
Delivering the Goods
The student volunteers are in agreement that the deliveries are the best part.
"We go into the homes of refugees or the recently homeless and we're giving them a means to live. It's incredible because otherwise, this stuff would have been thrown away," said senior nursing major Kellie Hennessy.
"Half the fun is staying and meeting the families. You're trying to fit a couch through the door and they are trying to thank you by giving you food and drinks," said senior Shaun O'Halloran.
This year they worked closely with nine organizations including Families in Transition, Manchester Child and Family Services, and International Institute of NH.
The organizations identified the families and individuals in need. In addition to the 60 or so families who will receive food, clothing, and furniture, every U-Haul is packed with extra bags of food, clothes, and toys for neighbors and others they meet on their deliveries.
Any left over items or furniture is donated to Makeover Ministry, an outreach program that helps people in need or in crisis.
Started by Students, Led by Students
FCF is a completely student-run program, funded by donations and led by students including three graduating seniors and three juniors.
This year the group is fortunate to have received additional support from U-Haul, which provided monetary assistance to cover the cost of one of the three rented trucks, as well as Blake's Restaurant, Fat Cat Screen Printing, and various campus clubs and college offices.