Helping Halls Donates $3,000 in Food

Arkansas Tech University students delivered 285 food kits to the Salvation Army in Russellville on Friday, Nov. 17, as the result of the 11th annual Helping Halls program.

The project by the John Tucker Chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary represented a gift of approximately $3,000 from Arkansas Tech students to the local community.

The food kits, which contain all the side items necessary for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, will be paired with a protein and distributed to area residents in need served by the Salvation Army of Russellville, which is led by Lt. Andrew Thorson and his wife, Lt. Shannon Thorson.

“To have students giving is an amazing thing,” said Shannon Thorson. “You’re talking about people who are full-time doing classes and homework, and then they take their time and the little bit of extra money they might have to donate all this food to the community. It means a lot. It means they are selfless, and they’re truly thinking of others. That you guys come together and donate all this is a huge blessing. I can’t put into words how much it means.”

Over the course of the first 11 years of Helping Halls, the program has donated approximately 3,100 holiday meals to neighbors in need.

The John Tucker Chapter of the NRHH is advised by ATU graduate students and resident directors Emily Thompson of Bluegrass, Iowa, and Alysha Daley of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

“It’s pretty exciting for us as resident directors and for our students,” said Thompson. “We have a visual in each of our residence halls that represents each time we feed a family, and that just pushes them to get to the next one. This generation of college students is very willing to give of their time and their money to help others.”

Wilson Residence Hall won a competition among the student housing facilities at ATU by donating 52 food kits, which represented 226 percent of its goal. Paine Residence Hall finished in second place, and M Street Residence Hall was third.