After someone stole cash intended to help buy Thanksgiving turkeys for local food pantry clients, three Grove City College students decided to do something to help.
Avalon M. Parsons ’23 of Seven Fields, Pa., Paige E. Crawley ’23 of Pittsburgh, Pa. and Olivia C. Whiteman ’23 of Ford City, Pa. heard Monday about the a burglary last week at Thrifty Threads, a Grove City thrift shop that supports the Grove City Community Food Pantry. Thieves took cash from the register and about $200 that was earmarked for Thanksgiving dinners.
“We decided that we needed to take action to replenish the funds the pantry lost,” Whiteman said. They created a GoFundMe page to raise money.
“Especially as Entrepreneurship students, we've all really been exposed to the idea of redemptive entrepreneurship and making an impact, so I think that's where a seed was planted,” Crawley said.
The women shared their GoFundMe page on social media and word of mouth has already spread. “When we mentioned our idea to others, though, the common response was 'Make sure you let us know when the link goes live as we would love to donate,'" Whiteman said.
“Thanksgiving is about being thankful and giving back – this is a very easy way to do that," Crawley said.
The pantry’s misfortune has an upside. Traci Gerard, executive director of the food pantry, said the community’s response has been “overwhelming.” Donations are coming in and many people, including Grove City College students, are stepping up to volunteer at the pantry and thrift store. “This really puts the name where it should be: the Community Food Pantry,” she said.
Parsons said the women plan to volunteer with a group of friends soon.
Gerard maintains a positive outlook about the pantry’s loss. “I don’t know why someone would do that, but I hope the money got them what they needed that day,” she said. “I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.”
To donate to their page, visit www.gofundme.com and search for “Grove City Food Pantry-Thanksgiving.”