Helping Halls Gives More Than $3,000 in Food

One carload after another, the bags were carried and carted in to the Salvation Army location on Weir Road in Russellville on Friday, Nov. 18, until they covered a large portion of the floor in one of the activity rooms.

In all, there were approximately 250 food kits donated and delivered by Arkansas Tech University students as part of the 10th annual Helping Halls program, a project of the John Tucker Chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary.

The food kits, which contain all the side items necessary for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, will be paired with chickens donated by Tyson Foods and the Main Street Mission. The food will be 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.

“It means community,” said Andrew Thorson. “We have such a great group, both with our youth groups that are helping out around town and of course the college kids who have gathered up all the time and money that it took to make this possible. It’s amazing to watch a community come together like this so well. A lot of the people who come in need this with an absolute. It’s difficult just making things get by right now, so being able to see their happy faces and sometimes even tears, it brings nothing but joy and happiness to my heart.”

At a value of $13 per food kit, the donation represents a gift of approximately $3,250 from Arkansas Tech students to the local community.

Over the course of the first decade of Helping Halls, the program has donated approximately 2,800 holiday meals to neighbors in need.

“I’m very proud of Arkansas Tech University and our students as a whole,” said Zach Tvrz, an Arkansas Tech junior from Huntsville and president of the John Tucker Chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary at Tech. “It really helps bring the Tech community together and the individual residence halls. They each had events, and the kids knowing this was for a good cause brings out the best in people. It makes me proud to know that we’ve been able to give this to people we don’t even know who wouldn’t otherwise have this opportunity.”

RHA delivered Thanksgiving dinner kits to the local Salvation Army location on 11/18/2016.