As many prepare to celebrate all they are grateful for with a Thanksgiving feast, The University of Texas-Pan American is helping those who struggle to put food on the table.
The University will host its first ever "Broncs Giving Week" Nov. 5-10 to raise awareness about hunger.
"Broncs Giving Week was set up as a united effort between the student organizations, faculty and staff for a common cause, in this case hunger awareness," said Raul Leal, a student who is majoring in communications studies and works for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Service Learning.
The organizations and departments involved in Broncs Giving Week are Culinary Arts Club, Office for Student Involvement, Sigma Kappa Phi, Student Leadership Academy, Student Union and the University Program Board.
"UTPA usually hosts weeklong events such as Homecoming Week and Welcome Week, but those events are geared more towards the student population," Leal said. "We felt an event like this shows how much the university cares about the people who live in the Valley and our campus is trying to show that unity and collectiveness towards a goal like this."
Events are scheduled throughout the week, including a canned food drive. Food items can be dropped off from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the following buildings throughout campus:
• Social and Behavioral Sciences
• Health Sciences and Human Services (east and west buildings)
• Learning Assistance Center
• Business Administration
Participating organizations were given cardboard boxes to decorate and make available to collect the donated food items.
"We thought this would be a unique way to increase the amount of canned food items and donations we can present to the Rio Grande Valley Food Bank," Leal said. "It also gets organizations from across the campus, as well as faculty and staff, involved and working together."
The schedule of activities planned for Broncs Giving Week is as follows:
• Nov.5: "Awareness Fair"- Chapel Lawn, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
• Nov.6: "Skill Builder Workshop: Health and Wellness"- Cenizo Room at Student Union, noon-1 p.m.
• Nov.7: "Social Justice Workshop" (Hunger Banquet) - Student Union Café, 7-8:30 a.m.
• Nov. 8: "Turkey Bowling" (Donations to benefit Adopt-an-Angel) -Student Union East Patio, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
• Nov. 8: "Sigma Kappa Phi Thanksgiving Feast"- Chapel Lawn, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Nov. 8: "Free Movie Showing: Hunger Games"- Student Union Theater, 7 p.m.
• Nov. 9: "Broncs Giving Week Closing Ceremony"- Student Union Commons, 5:30 p.m.
• Nov. 9: "Free Movie Showing: Hunger Games"- Student Union Theater, 7 p.m.
• Nov. 10: "The Big Fall Leadership Workshop Featuring Keynote Speaker: Del Suggs"- CESS Building (Room 1.300), 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (This training is sponsored by the Student Leadership Academy.)
Suggs, author of "True Leading: Lessons In Leadership" and an award-winning American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers member, will focus on personal and organizational leadership development under the overall theme of Servant Leadership.
The training is free and open to all UTPA students who sign up through Bronclink to attend this event. Log in to Bronclink, then go to the Student Leadership Academy Bronclink page. Click the "Forms" tab on the left hand side of the page.
Leal said he hopes Broncs Giving Week will foster a desire in students and student organizations to give to those in need.
"We're hoping that the students from the student organizations, and those students attending the different events, gain a level of awareness for the less fortunate people in our communities, and also for the less fortunate students here at UTPA," Leal said. "We are also hoping that these students are more open to giving back and have that sense of pride with the university."
For more information, contact the Office for Student Involvement at (956) 665-2660.