Thanksgiving is a time when families and loved ones can gather together to give thanks for each other, opportunities and all that they have. Not only is the food on Thanksgiving abundant and delicious, but so is the opportunity to give—not just thanks but to those who may not have the same opportunities. 

Gonzaga University resides in the Logan Neighborhood, which happens to be the poorest neighborhood in the city of Spokane. The national poverty rate is 10.5%, where the Spokane County poverty rate is 13.1%, according to the Census Bureau 2019 report. 

GU has a firm foundation in helping others and fosters the community in which it resides in.

“The Gonzaga experience fosters a mature commitment to the dignity of the human person, social justice, diversity, intercultural competence, global engagement, solidarity with the poor and vulnerable and care for the planet,” reads the GU Mission Statement.

During the kickoff to the season of giving, Thanksgiving is a time to take the Zags to help Zags motto out to the city of Spokane and fulfill the GU Mission Statement. Here is a list of local places in the Spokane Area that Zags can give to.

Food Banks

During Thanksgiving, food banks and food drives are a great way to donate food for families to have a Thanksgiving meal. Spokane is home to Second Harvest and Spokane Valley Partners. These food banks are always accepting food donations and donating food is a great way to spread the Thanksgiving mentality. 

There is also a local news station, KREM, that is doing a food drive all November long. It is called Tom’s Turkey Drive and it provides meals to families who need them.

“The need is greater than ever for food assistance. Tom’s Turkey Drive provides a full Thanksgiving meal but also lets the community know we care,” reads the KREM website. “So, we will continue to serve both those needs. The plan is to provide 11,000 Thanksgiving meals.”

By shopping at a Rosauers grocery store you can donate money or food that will help feed a family. 

Christ Kitchen

This Spokane organization has been helping women and their children, in poverty, for the last 22 years. Christ Kitchen makes pre-packed goods with recipes on how to make the meals inside. It runs a coffee stand and sells baked goods there. Buying the goods there is a great way to support, but during the holiday season, Christ Kitchen sets up shop in the Riverfront Park Mall and sells its products. Not only is this a great way to support Christ Kitchen and the women who work there, but also a personal and fun gift to give others in a season of giving.

Since there are no volunteers during COVID-19 times, donating money is a great way to help this community of women and their children.

Liberty Park Community Development Center

This community center is located in a low-income neighborhood of Spokane. It supports the children of this community by giving them an outlet to do online classes, homework help and the opportunity to still be a kid during the pandemic. Normally Liberty Park has volunteer positions, but during COVID-19, it is looking for donations as a way to help. Liberty Park takes donations in the way of children’s toys as well. So, while you are home for Thanksgiving, clean out the childhood toys and see if you can donate some to the local community center of Liberty Park.

Thanksgiving is a time to not only celebrate family with good food but is an opportunity to help celebrate with others, by giving. By becoming a Zag and doing your part to follow through with the GU Mission Statement—standing in solidarity with the marginalized.

Second Harvest 1234 E. Front Ave., Spokane, WA 99202

Spokane Valley Partners10814 E. Broadway Ave., Spokane Valley, WA 99206

Christ Kitchen 2410 N. Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99205

Liberty Part Community and Development Center 1417 E. Hartson Ave., Spokane WA 99202

Hannah Hislop is a news editor. Follow her on Twitter: @hannahvhislop.

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