USM Social Work students fill Thanksgiving baskets for families in need

USM Social Work students fill Thanksgiving baskets for families in need
USM Gulf Park's Social Work club made Thanksgiving Golden Baskets for families in need this holiday season. (Photo Source: WLOX) (Philippe, Joyce)

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Social work students at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus are helping 12 Coast families have a happy Thanksgiving.

The Social Work Club designed Golden Baskets filled with groceries to make a Thanksgiving dinner. Laundry items, winter coats and some gifts for the holidays were also included in the baskets.

Harrison, Hancock, and Jackson County school districts teamed up with Head Start agencies on the Coast to pick out the families that will get the baskets. Golden Basket recipients are deemed to be among the least food secure by social workers.

Many of the students were excited to take part in the annual project to show compassion to people in need. Kimberly Richmond stood in front of her large display, complete with a rack of clothing and festive holiday decorations. She said she collected more than $2000 worth of items by fundraising.

“We supply their wishlist items if possible and try to give them an abundance of things to get them through the holiday season," Richmond said.

She hoped her contributions show that compassion still exists through hard times.

“There are people that do care about the needs of our children and our society and our single mothers. Everybody needs help at some point in their life and there’s no shame in asking for it," Richmond said.

As club president, Sara Leekide summed it up best.

“You just never know the situation that people are in, and it’s just very rewarding just to give back," she said.

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