HDFS Student Outreach club makes Thanksgiving gift baskets for Fort Collins families

On Nov. 14, the excitement in the air was palpable in room 459 of the Behavioral Sciences building as a large pile of clothes, food, gift cards and toiletries was divided up to donate to two underprivileged families in Fort Collins.

The assembled donations were the culmination of a semester’s worth of hard work for members of the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) Student Outreach club. The group had conducted fundraising efforts, gone to local businesses and collected donations from faculty to be able to help the families over the holidays.

Included in the mix was a stack of gift cards to local businesses for the families to use. Subway, Cold Stone Creamery, King Soopers and Lowes were a few of the cards in the separate piles. Early next week, two members of the club will present the baskets at the homes of two local families.

This is the third year that Allison Hamm, club president and junior HDFS and social work double major, has collected donations with the club. She pointed out that there’s usually many generations of people in the families receiving the baskets, from grandparents to grandchildren.

“I always hear the families are overwhelmed by how much they get. They’re shocked,” Hamm said.

Hannah Anderson, an HDFS senior, said the gift cards will allow the families to purchase Thanksgiving dinner and also be able to eat at restaurants — something that college kids take for granted.

“A lot of places they may not be able to eat at often, so that’s really special to be able to include those gift cards,” Anderson said.

Eleven students and faculty advisor Jennifer Krafchick spent approximately one hour sorting all the items into two overflowing laundry baskets. Winter coats and toys were also included.

Krafchick, an HDFS assistant professor, said the students had “put their hearts” into making sure the families would have the donation baskets this year.

“It’s an opportunity for HDFS majors to get experience working with community agencies and programs, and to contribute their time and energy in helping other people,” Krafchick said.

Cold Stone Creamery owner An Leuthmers said when she was approached by the club, she “thought it was an awesome thing” and something she wanted to contribute to.

“I think people have fallen on hard times and a lot of times it’s not their fault,” Luethmers said.