EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is designated as Giving Tuesday. It’s a time when non-profits and organizations raise money and awareness all over the world for a certain cause.
And this year the funds are needed more than ever. In the Tri-State, Ivy Tech Community College Evansville is hoping the community will help with a growing need for its students: tackling hunger.
“Leadership academy which is another great program that the school offers,” said Ivy Tech student Lisa Redmon. “The campus activities board. I was the promotions coordinator for them. And Kiwanis, they have club.”
Redmon already has her Associates degree in graphic design from the Evansville campus. She’s back majoring in general studies.
“It gets you more involved with the school. And it actually helps you build your network,” said Redmon.
While her education was thriving, life threw Redmon a few curveballs.
“When they started the food program here, I was going through a really rough time being a single parent,” said Redmon. “I was in between classes, in between jobs and when they started the program I said I’ll check it out, see if it’s going to help.”
Redmon used the emergency food pantry known as Ivy’s Closet three times.
“You get some food, said Redmon. “It was great, especially when I needed it. Soups, mac n cheese, ramen, canned fruits and vegetables.”
She and her daughter now pay it forward to Ivy’s Closet with donations for students.
“You’ve been in that situation,” said Redmon. “You know how hard it can get. Why not when you’re not in that situation give back to the thing that helped you.”
It was for students like Lisa that the two years ago the pantry was created.
“Students were coming to financial and trying to make a decision that they needed to either buy books or buy food. So we would be six weeks into a semester and many students wouldn’t have purchased the necessary materials,” said Ivy Tech Community College Evansville Foundation executive director Erica Schmidt.
As the need grew, faculty and staff collected donations, and women’s philanthropy group Circle of Ivy also stepped in to help.
“As the pandemic happened we received more than 200 requests from students and they continue daily,” said Schmidt.
With Ivy’s closet established, the community college also revived the Commons Cafe for students featuring food from Acropolis.
“They’ve provided a very affordable menu,” said Schmidt. “I think the most expensive item is 8 dollars so we have a voucher for ten dollars. So they are able to get a variety of items.”
To end food insecurity, Ivy Tech is launching Sleigh Away Hunger this Giving Tuesday.
“Raise 10,000 between a mixture of financial donations and goods. Essentially it’s easy to make a gift online, said Schmidt.
With Christmas approaching, students like Redmon hope her fellow classmates receive the help she did from Ivy’s Closet.
“Not only gives them the resources but also helps them feel more secure,” said Redmon.
If you would like to donate to Sleigh Away Hunger, more information can be found here: http://impact.ivytech.edu/sleigh-away-hunger
If you would like to drop off food on campus: Drop off at Door J at the main campus of Ivy Tech Community College Evansville. If you would like contactless drop off, call the number near the door and someone will come to pick up your donation.
(This story was originally published on December 1, 2020)