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Cans Around the Oval kicks off the holidays

Allison Chase
Allison Chase

There’s a chill in the air, there’s scarlet leaves on the trees, there’s little tin cans lined along the Oval’s curb in a soldierly fashion and there are the sounds of change fast and furiously dropping into jars for the Penny Wars.

Those sights and sounds can mean only one thing: it’s time for Cans Around the Oval once again.


To me, this has been seen as the start of the holidays; the pregame, if you will. This gets us in the mood to give and gets us thinking about others, and then as time passes, we become more and more immersed in the season of giving.

Cans Around the Oval now means that Salvation Army Santas will pop up out of the sidewalks and volunteers for the Larimer County Food Bank will explode in size before the year’s end.

And you know what, that’s wonderful.

People don’t give nearly as often as they should, and by placing this event in the middle of October, CSU reminds us that we shouldn’t just help others from Thanksgiving Break to Christmas Day, but all year round. We should have Cans Around the Oval twice a year, once every semester, just to remind people of that fact. People aren’t only homeless and hungry during the holiday season, but every day of the year.

The Larimer County Food Bank served over 29,000 people in 2012. Out of those, 13,500 alone had to depend on the Food Share program every month. It’s obscene how high those numbers are, especially considering that this is America, the Land of Opportunity. People should not be going hungry, but the fact is that they do, and it’s our job—our duty—to help the less fortunate.

We are lucky to live in America. I know it doesn’t seem like it right now, with the government being divided, and it seems like those in charge are bickering over petty details, but we really are lucky to live here. Our biggest worry is that our government is inefficient, and we can worry about that because we don’t have to worry about where our next meal is coming from or if the food we have is safe to eat.

Most of us even have seconds or leftovers and the luxury of dessert. We have so much compared to the rest of the world, and we have a duty to share it, make things a bit more equal, even if only through dropping canned goods off at the Oval or getting rid of spare change as we leave the dorms.

So I smile when I see people making pyramids out of cans on the Plaza, or when I see the cans spiraling around the Oval’s curb in rows two or three deep because I realize that the semester is almost half-over, and that the holiday season starts in a few weeks. With the rain turning to snow, the trees shedding their leaves and the spirit of giving already in the air, everything can only get better from here on out.

Allison Chase is a junior Creative Writing major. Letters and feedback can be sent to


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