Western leads Govenor's food drive for eighth straight year
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 17:05
This year, Western collected the most pounds per employee for the Governor’s food drive for the eighth year in a row, winning the 2012 Governor's State Employee Food Drive challenge.
Every February, the state of Oregon puts all government employees into groups to help make the food drive a fun challenge. One group (group 6) consists of all the Oregon Universities: Portland State University, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Eastern Oregon University, Southern Oregon University and Western Oregon University. Out of all the universities in Oregon, the faculty, staff and organizations at Western raked in the most pounds per employee with 161.31 lbs.
The school worked hard with the food drive coordinators Debbie Diehm, Deb Charlton, Lisa Catto and Brian Haley to raise as much money or food as they possibly could for the Oregon Food Banks. Organizations like Abbey's House, Student Government and the Residence Hall Association (RHA) help each year to achieve the school goal; this year, the RHA even contacted the coordinators first. It is only with the help of everyone involved that Western was able to win again this year; "We were great and made it eight!" is the slogan they were able to use this year because of all their work.
All the food and money they raised goes to the Oregon Food Bank, specifically just in Polk County, and that means it is helping our community, our neighbors and the people around us. There are at least three Oregon Food Banks within Monmouth, Independence and Dallas that can always use more food or money from anyone. The employees that are raising the money and or food use no university resources and minimal expenses; mostly money from their own pocket or payroll deductions are used, which makes it all the more rewarding and charitable.
When asked why Western continues to raise the most money and food for the Governor's State Employee Food Drive each year, Debbie Diehm with the assistant vice president for student affairs, talked about the feel of such a tight knit community at Western. The culture of the university is filled with generosity because of who we are as a university and as a student body. It is a very personal place where nothing but success and kindness is encouraged.
"Because this is a wonderful human place, we encourage service opportunities," said Diehm. We continue to win each year because of not only the amazing faculty and staff but, because Western is such a small university compared to others in Oregon, we are able to connect with each other on a more personal level, making it easier to be charitable to the people around us for the food drive.
Next year, for the Governor's State Employee Food Drive, University President Mark Weiss encourages another and even bigger win. The food drive committee will meet in December of this year to plan out their goal for the 2013 year. Western hopes that next year a new goal can be reached, and to continue to help the community raise even more money and food for the Oregon Food Bank.