Students purchase more than $300 in groceries for local food pantries

If you happened to shopping for groceries at a local store yesterday, you might have gotten in line behind a group of shoppers with six carts, and who were trying to calculate their expenses with a calculator—but they were actually working for a great cause, not just holding up the line!

[More, after these photos]

photo of WIU Management students with food donation

photo of Management class delivering food

On Tuesday, Nov. 2, nine WIU freshmen and their instructors shopped together at a grocery store in Macomb, filling carts with more than $300 worth of groceries including canned vegetables, peanut butter and other staples.

But it wasn’t to stock up their own residence hall rooms for the winter months.

Beginning in late October, students in four sections of Management 125Y, Business and Technology in a Global Society—a class offered through Western’s First Year Experience (FYE) program—sold 50/50 raffle tickets to benefit local food pantries. These nine students (above) volunteered to take the proceeds to the store and purchase groceries for disadvantaged families in the area. And as the holiday season approaches, this project was in addition to the Black Student Association’s ongoing Thanksgiving Basket Project, in conjunction with the annual Cans Across America Drive.

Instructors Jeri Harper, Becky Mahr and Cathy Onion came up with the idea for the raffle project.

“Considering the current economic climate, the students involved are receptive to the idea of giving back to the community they live in,” Mahr said. “Since a majority of today’s businesses stress social responsibility, this project prepares students to volunteer and assume an active role in making a difference.”

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Students ‘dog-gone’ helpful during National Volunteer Week

As part of National Volunteer Week, students from WAVE, (or Western’s All Volunteer Effort), spent the week doing community service projects around the area, including spending time with seniors at area residential facilities, playing with children at the YMCA, and other activities.

Check out some of the highlights of that week (April 19-23) captured by WIU Visual Production Center photographers:

Cleanup at Moses King Brick and Tile Works national historic district in Colchester, IL (April 21, 2010)

(photos by Larry Dean)
student riding lawnmower

Crystal Sewell, special events coordinator for WAVE and a sophomore social work major from Aurora, IL, drives the lawnmower (check out that hood ornament!) while Tim Schroll, geography department staff member, gives guidance on the cleanup project.

picture of controlled prairie burn

(l-r) Karen Peitzmeier, a faculty assistant for the Peace Corps Fellows in Western's Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, (IIRA); Vladymyr Ivanyshyn, a junior law enforcement and justice administration major from Norridge, IL; and (in red sweatshirt) a member of Volunteer Now of Macomb, get started on a controlled prairie burn at the historic site.

picture of students volunteering --clearing brush

picking up brush at the historic Moses King brickyard site

Volunteering at the McDonough County Animal Shelter (April 22, 2010)

photos by George Hartmann
picture of students walking dogs during Volunteer Week

who is leading who, here?

picture of student with animal-shelter cat

The shelter is a popular spot for student volunteers on many days, not just during Volunteer Week.

picture of students playing with shelter dog

(l-r) Brandon Rusciolelli, a junior biology major from Rochester, IL, and Kyla Keefauver, sophomore pre-law enforcement major from Topeka, IL bond with one of the cuddly creatures at the shelter.

picture of students with small shelter dog

What is this dog's expression saying? Leave your caption in the comments below.

Want to see more? You can view the entire set of photos, and purchase copies, from the WIU Visual Production Center Lightbox online photo service.