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USCA students deliver backpacks of food to Warrenville Elementary

November 23, 2018

Students at USC Aiken collected nonperishable food items for students at Warrenville Elementary School and delivered them in individual backpacks just days before one of the nation’s most celebrated holidays.

“Thanksgiving is a chance for everyone to take time and remember all the things to be thankful for in life and what is around us,” said Christian Medders, assistant director of student life at the university who coordinated the event.

“Also, by giving to others who might need a little help reminds us that we are all in this together, and no one should spend their holidays worrying about anything other than spending time with family and friends.”

This effort was part of Warrenville Elementary’s Backpack Buddies Program, which provides young students with food to last a couple of days at the end of each week. USCA students collected 189 backpacks full of food for the students to enjoy during the upcoming holiday break.

“We want to help provide for students who might not have adequate access to food during the Thanksgiving break, hopefully giving them a chance to just enjoy a restful and relaxing break with their family and friends,” Medders said.

“Each year, we plan on working with a different local elementary school. This year, we chose Warrenville Elementary for a couple of reasons. First, Patrick Newsome, the assistant principal, is a USC Aiken graduate. Secondly, we believed it would be great to hang out with the cool students at Warrenville.”

During its annual One Table feast, USC Aiken faculty, staff and students collected canned goods and prepackaged foods so Warrenville’s youngest eaters would have enough food to last through the Thanksgiving break. One Table provides the entire campus community a chance to come together for a Thanksgiving-style lunch, enjoyed in the university’s cafeteria.

“This event gives USC Aiken a chance to come together and enjoy a Thanksgiving lunch and then also give back to our community,” Medders said.

“This is the second year that we have collected canned goods as part of the university-wide event. It allows us to show thankfulness for all that we have been given while at the same time enjoy lunch with our fellow Pacers.”

As part of the visit to Warrenville Elementary, the college students read books to and visited with the younger students.

“When USC Aiken approached us about this opportunity, we were beyond excited to be part of it,” said Newsome.

“Our Backpack Buddies program is an essential part of what we do as a school to address the social and emotional needs of our students. This event allows us to take it a step further by getting college students in the classrooms as role models and providing a little extra for the holiday,” the Warrenville assistant principal added.

“Events like this make me proud to be a USC Aiken graduate.”

Newsome, USC Aiken Class of ’09, was named the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year for the Aiken County Public School District before becoming Warrenville Elementary’s assistant principal.

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