By COASTAL ALABAMA STAFF
Special to Atmore News
Students throughout Coastal Alabama Community College donated money, goods, and services over the recent holiday season to positively impact 50 families in need, throughout Baldwin, Escambia, and Mobile counties.
For more than 20 years, the local Pi Psi Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society has facilitated the annual food drive, during which food, toys, and gift certificates are donated and delivered to area families. In 2021, the drive included a total of 5,200 food items — including 24 turkeys — 650 toys, and $1,100 in Walmart gift certificates.
It was one of the largest total donation events in the chapter’s history.
The food drive is part of Phi Theta Kappa’s Student Health Campaign, a wellness initiative that has been part of the honor society’s hallmarks and is open to all of the college’s students, faculty and staff. Many instructors offered extra credit to students who donated or volunteered.
“You give stuff to charity all the time, but you rarely see where it goes,” said Charles Lake, the Pi Psi Chapter’s Advisor. “And these students get to see the difference they make, first hand, from beginning to end.”
Delivery of the food drive’s donations took four full days and required the students to collect, sort, catalog, label, and transport everything to its recipients. The organizational skills developed through that process are a huge benefit to the students, Lake said, as is their ability to use the experiences to highlight community service on applications for transfer scholarships to four-year colleges.
“They always want to know what a student has done since high school,” he said.