Giving thanks, giving back

Omaha North Student Council makes, distributes Thanksgiving dinner boxes to North families

Paige Anthony, News Editor

Thanksgiving is a kick-off to the holiday season as people spend time with family, the weather gets chilly, and holiday tunes are blasted on the radio.

Thanksgiving is a time when people enjoy stuffing themselves at a festive meal, but not everyone is lucky enough to be able to do the same.

It’s an annual reminder to reach out to those in need.

Before indulging in turkey, stuffing, and sweet potato pie, some may wonder the origins of Turkey Day.

The origin of this food coma inducing holiday can be traced back to the Fall of 1621, the time of the so-called original Thanksgiving.

The first Thanksgiving that was recognized by Pilgrims came in July 1623, founded by the founder and governor of the Plymouth Colony Settlement: William Bradford. It was made a day to worship and pray in giving thanks for a rainfall that saved their harvest.

It took 150 years to establish Thanksgiving-George Washington proclaimed it a national holiday in 1789, Lincoln proclaimed it the last Thursday in November in 1863, and Congress sanctioned it a legal holiday in 1941, as said in an article from All About History.

Seen as a day of giving thanks, approximately 85% of Americans partake in turkey eating traditions.

As families come together in unity, some have traditions of serving others. Americans take part in volunteer work in soup kitchens and food pantries, uniting and aiming to contribute to the community.

According to Insider, members of the military on active duty, hospital patients, and the homeless are people in need of enlightenment during the holidays.

The Omaha North Student Council helped to put both the “thanks” and “giving” back into Thanksgiving by distributing dinner boxes to those in need. On Nov. 17, the boxes were packed and delivered to select families and students.

With a cost of about $40, each box included stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, cookies, treats, and a 12 to 16-pound turkey.

Giving back to the community, Omaha Box Corporation donated 60 free boxes, Rotellas contributed 50 bags or dinner rolls, and Family Fare donated a $100 gift card.

50 students within the school received these boxes. With those 50 boxes, about 270 people were fed.

This was the first event of its kind at North. Laura Geiger, an English teacher and Student Council advisor at North developed the idea from her aunt, a CEO of Omaha Small Business Network on 24th and Lake.

Since her aunt retired, she’s been wanting to do this at North for some time.

Working for Omaha Housing, her aunt supported 150 families for Thanksgiving. Geiger’s family contributed to the creation of those boxes.

“I am really excited that Student Council wanted to take this on this year,” Geiger said. “We hope to support more families next year.”