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Ole Miss Students Work to Make Holiday Better for Campus Staff (With Video)

The Ole Miss Associated Student Body (ASB) and the Office of Volunteer Services are teaming up for the 13th consecutive year to feed families during Thanksgiving.
But their mission is a little different this year. The organizations have decided to only focus on feeding families within the Ole Miss staff for the Adopt-A-Basket program.
Margaret Hay, Director of Philanthropy for ASB, said the goal is to help those who help the University.
“Helping an Ole Miss family, we’ll be able to give back to people who are on staff within our university and who could use a little extra help during the holidays,” she said.
The program has released a list of items that will help them put together 400 baskets. Some of the items on the list include canned corn, chicken broth, sugar and more.
To provide consistency, organizers ask that donors only include the items on the list.
ASB will also not accept frozen items. Instead, they ask donors for $25 gift cards to local grocery stores so families can purchase their meat and dairy products.
Basket recipients will be identified through the department they work for regarding pick-up time.
Ole Miss senior Kelsey Hudgins said giving back is what the season is all about.
“The staff [members] help us so much at our university, so I think it’s important to give back to them. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t get anywhere,” Hudgins said.
Hudgins plans to donate canned items as a way to participate in Adopt-A-Basket.
“I’ve always worked with organizations around the holidays to provide food to the community and the needy, so it’s important and it’s natural for me.”
Adopt-A-Basket started helping families in need 13 years ago when founder Val Ross, who directs the Office of Leadership and Advocacy at Ole Miss, got the idea for the program. Ever since, families throughout the Oxford and Lafayette County community have benefited. 
Donations gathered for the 2017 program can be taken to the Jackson Avenue Center starting Nov. 13-15.
Volunteers will be needed Nov. 14 to collect and load baskets. Students interested in volunteering should contact Val Ross at 662-915-7248.

Annie Mapp is a journalism major at the University of Mississippi. Email her at aemapp@olemiss.edu.

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