After nearly 20 years of coordinating and collecting Thanksgiving food items for hundreds of families in need, the organizers of Hanks High School’s famous “Hanksgiving” event are appealing to the community for donations in the wake of new fundraising restrictions put in place following the August 3 shooting tragedy at Wal-Mart.
Hanksgiving, which is organized annually by the school’s Interact community service club, first took place in 2000 with the humble goal of creating enough Thanksgiving food baskets to feed 10 families in need.
Since then, Hanksgiving has grown into a community-wide effort that has been able to provide Thanksgiving meals to as many as 500 families and seven shelters in recent years.
To prepare for the event, students and staff normally volunteer their weekends from August through mid-November to set up and supervise Hanksgiving food drives and fundraisers, many of which took place outside grocery stores in previous years.
This year, however, in light of the Wal-Mart shooting, many stores have changed their policies and no longer allow organizations to stand outside of their facilities to conduct fundraisers.
As a result, Hanksgiving organizer and Campus Volunteer Coordinator Monica Lopez said they are now turning to Hanks feeder elementary and middle schools – as well as the El Paso community in general – to reach their goal of feeding 500 needy families this Thanksgiving.
“This project has been a Hanks tradition for the last 19 years, and it means a lot to our community,” Lopez said. “With the help of our feeder pattern and other schools, we are hoping our goal is met again this year.”
Hanksgiving organizers are appealing the community to donate the following food items:
Cream of mushroom/chicken soup (canned)
Green beans (canned)
Organizers will be collecting canned food items this Saturday at the Walk Across Ysleta event at Blackie Chesher Park.
Students will organize the donations and create an assembly line to create the food baskets on Sunday, November 24, with the goal of distributing the baskets on Monday, November 25.
Anyone interested in donating food items for Hanksgiving can drop them off during school hours through Friday, Nov. 22, in Room 100 at Hanks High School, 2001 Lee Trevino Drive.
For more information, please contact Monica Lopez at 915-434-5014.