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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rivier University collects 425 Thanksgiving food baskets for needy

NASHUA – At Rivier University, another Thanksgiving means another record number of food baskets.

The annual collection, which benefits needy individuals and families through 12 local agencies, once again surpassed the previous year, this time by more than 60 baskets, organizers said. ...

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NASHUA – At Rivier University, another Thanksgiving means another record number of food baskets.

The annual collection, which benefits needy individuals and families through 12 local agencies, once again surpassed the previous year, this time by more than 60 baskets, organizers said.

“We are honored and humbled to serve those in need (through) our mission, ‘transforming hearts and minds to serve the world,’ ” said Patricia Garrity, university marketing and communications director.

The collection, called the Thanksgiving Basket Project, takes place as part of the university’s traditional interfaith Thanksgiving prayer service held just before the holiday.

In the beginning, Garrity said, collection organizers set a goal of 175 baskets, a bar that has been exceeded two- and threefold ever since. There were 425 baskets collected this year.

The collection’s ongoing success continues to impress university officials, from the director of Campus Ministry to the president’s office.

“Your work, as we have just seen presented, is a daily commitment to reach out to the poor, to the hungry, to the marginalized, to those in need, and we thank you for inspiration that you offer to us on a daily basis,” Sister Paula Marie Buley, Rivier’s president, said to agency representatives and service participants.

“As we anticipate Thanksgiving, the blessings that we have as an institution, as a community and as citizens, perhaps we can also consider how in the act of thanksgiving, and in the act of giving, we ourselves are transformed.”

Campus Ministry director Mary Jane Silvia also praised those who make the collection a success every year.

“This is my sixth year being involved in the Thanksgiving Basket Project, and I continue to be inspired by the spirit of service and caring at Rivier,” she said.

At the end of the service, Rivier students and athletes teamed up to load the baskets, filled with Thanksgiving food items arranged around a turkey, into vehicles for transportation to the agencies. From there, the agencies delivered the baskets to individuals and families on their respective lists.

Participating agencies this year include:

Nashua-based Partnership for Successful Living and its affiliates Harbor Homes, Keystone Hall and Southern New Hampshire HIV/AIDS Task Force.

Greater Nashua Mental Health Center at Community Council.

Nashua Soup Kitchen.

Nashua Foundation for Oncology/Hematology.

Corpus Christi Food Pantry, Nashua.

Salvation Army of Greater Nashua.

Anne Marie House, Hudson.

CareGivers.

Title One.

New Hampshire Catholic Charities.