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Livingstone students to participate in ‘A Day of Thanks & Giving’

By Laurie D. Willis

Livingstone College News Service

SALISBURY – Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. often quotes Luke 12:48 to his students: To whom much is given, much is required.

Apparently they’re listening.

On Monday, in conjunction with the Division of Student Affairs, Livingstone students are participating in “A Day of Thanks & Giving.” Plans call for Student Affairs staff members – from Vice President Dr. Orlando Lewis on down – to serve the annual Thanksgiving meal to students in Aggrey Cafeteria. Later that day, in partnership with the Upsilon Beta Sigma chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., students will feed about a dozen families and individuals in Rowan County.

The families were identified for Livingstone by Sue Mitchell, an elementary school social worker for the Rowan-Salisbury School System. Phi Beta Sigma members are footing the bill for the turkeys, and Student Affairs is paying for the dressing, cranberry sauce and other trimmings.

“Here at Livingstone, we strive to teach our students what they need to know inside and outside the classroom to be successful in today’s global society,” Jenkins said. “We also try to teach them to be compassionate and willing to extend a helping hand to others. For most of us, sitting down at the table to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends is something we’re used to and look forward to every year, but that’s not the case for everyone.

“I cannot tell you how much it warms my heart to know that our students have organized to provide Thanksgiving meals for families and individuals in need,” Jenkins continued. “That says a lot about the caliber of students we have here at Livingstone, and it tells me that our staff and faculty are instilling in them values that will help them become productive members of society – all of which makes me proud.”

After they’ve enjoyed their traditional Thanksgiving meal in the school’s cafeteria on Monday, members of Livingstone’s Student Government Association, Royal Court, Residence Life Department and fraternity and sorority members will distribute uncooked Thanksgiving meals throughout the county.

The Day of Thanks & Giving is the brainchild of the Student Affairs Leadership Team, which is led by Lewis.

“The students came to me and said they wanted to do something to help those less fortunate because they know everyone can’t afford to buy the necessary items for a hearty Thanksgiving meal,” Lewis said. “They asked me what they could do to help, and we put our heads together and came up with the ‘Day of Thanks & Giving.’ Knowing our students and how excited they are to be giving back to the community in this manner, I’m confident they will ensure everything is carried out to perfection.”

Among the students who will participate in the “Day of Thanks & Giving” are Marissa Farrow, a junior from Baltimore, Khamel Smith, a sophomore from Fayetteville, and Azende King, a freshman from Rocky Mount.

“I feel this is a great time for people to come together and really think about and appreciate what they have,” said King, 18, a criminal justice major who serves as SGA chaplain. “This is my first time participating in an event like this, and I’m looking forward to it. One of the tenets of The Holistic College, under which Livingstone operates, is volunteerism and social awareness, so I consider this a great way for us to demonstrate that we realize the importance of doing things for others, particularly at this time of the year.”

Anthony Brown, director of student activities, and Terri Stevenson, associate vice president for student affairs/student engagement, will be on hand to ensure Monday’s events are carried out as planned. Stevenson contacted Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity member Joseph Martin-Toney about partnering with the college.

“Service to humanity is a big part of our organization, and we feel it’s our obligation to help less fortunate families in the community by doing whatever we can to support them,” said Martin-Toney, a 2009 Livingstone graduate.

Mitchell, of the Rowan-Salisbury School System, said she’s appreciative of the meals being provided by Livingstone and Phi Beta Sigma.

“Here in Rowan County we have many families in need, particularly at this time of the year,” Mitchell said. “The school system is very grateful to Livingstone College students for stepping up to the plate to assist these families.”

Stevenson said outreach efforts by Livingstone students will continue.

“Our commitment to service and social responsibility is evident in everything we do with student leadership,” Stevenson said. “As this year closes and we head into 2016, the Salisbury-Rowan County community can anticipate a resurgence in the philanthropic efforts of Livingstone College students.”

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