HOPE Brightens Holiday Tables

Thanks to NCC nursing students

Myra Saturen,

Breanna Donate

Thanks to a project by Northampton Community College's (NCC) HOPE pantry, 35 NCC students on the Bethlehem and Monroe campuses and their families got to enjoy a full Thanksgiving meal they might otherwise have missed.    

Nursing students founded the HOPE Pantry with the knowledge that nourishment is an essential priority for good health.  Operated by nursing students, the pantry is a subset of the Nursing Student Organization (NSO).  The pantry works in collaboration with Second Harvest food bank and is open twice a week.  (The days vary).  

Last summer, Breanna Donate, the coordinator of the pantry, along with other volunteers, explored additional ways they could help students in need.  Thanksgiving quickly came to mind.   

To get the Thanksgiving project rolling, nursing classes held a competition among themselves to see which one could collect the most food.  Other NCC departments joined in with their own contributions throughout the fall semester.  

Meanwhile, Breanna wrote to Jaindl Farms, explaining the project and requesting their assistance.  Knowing that Colleen Marshall, of NCC's Institutional Advancement department, is a strong supporter of the HOPE pantry, Brianna sought her participation.  With Colleen's assistance and that of NCC Foundation Board member John Eureyecko, Brianna's request reached top executives at Jaindl.  As a result, the company donated 26 turkeys.  Several more turkeys came from a Lehigh Valley family, the Seymours, and from Giant Food Stores.   

The result of the donations?  Grocery bags brimming with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, desserts, and more.   

Breanna's eyes light up when she talks about the Thanksgiving project.  "When you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, you don't often realize that other people can't do so.  It feels great to have been able to help," she says.  

A resident of Nazareth who will graduate in May 2018, Breanna has been reaching out to others since childhood.  When recovering from neck surgery as a girl, she gave all the balloons she received as gifts to other children on her hospital floor.  

Breanna knows what Thanksgiving and every day is all about:  "I didn't want to take my blessings for granted.  Even a small change can affect someone's life."