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November 22, 2005

Law student organizations join forces to feed hungry Lane County families

Law student organizers gather to celebrate a successful food drive 
Law students collect and deliver baskets of food to hungry families

The holidays are even hungrier for Lane County citizens who have to scrimp and stretch at the best of times. Who better to help out than law students — whose training includes problem solving, assertiveness, prioritizing, and the ability to get things done?

Twenty-one Eugene families will have a
happier Thanksgiving Law students deliver Thanksgiving baskets because of their efforts.
The spectacular results of two related food drives spearheaded by students in the Public Interest Public Service Program (PIPS) and law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta filled the Wayne Morse Commons on Friday, November 18.  Members of 20 student organizations gathered around oil-drum sized cans bursting with cans and boxes of food.  Volunteers carried laundry baskets overflowing with Thanksgiving food, warm winter clothing, and toiletries to waiting cars and trucks.

The gifts benefited Food for Lane County and Latino students and families in the River Road elementary school district. In addition to the baskets, close to 4,500 food items and $1,000 in cash were collected by Friday.

“We never imagined that people would come up with so much stuff! Some groups signed up for one basket and brought four. It was totally incredible,” said Emilia Gardner ’07, one of the organizers.

Natalie Duke ’08, who completed Eugene 4J’s Spanish Immersion Program in high school, had worked at River Road elementary school and understood the fragile economic situation of many of the students there – made even worse by the pending closure of Centro Latino Americano, Eugene’s advocacy and service organization for the Hispanic community.  She contacted Maxine Proskurowski at the school, who enthusiastically signed on to the project.

Phi Alpha Delta member Rebecca Fritch ’07 said she brought a basket to a River Road family of three: a mother, fifteen-year old son and eleven-year-old daughter. “They came to Eugene from Mexico City four months ago and the mom just started a new job on Monday,” Fritch said. “We brought a trunk full of food and supplies plus a house plant. She was so moved — she told us she had relatives in Mexico City and we shouldn’t worry about a place to stay if we were ever there.”

Thanksgiving basket donors:

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Upsilon Gamma Omega chapter — Jamila Taylor ’07
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
Black Law Students Association
Christian Legal Society
Coalition Against Environmental Racism
Criminal Law Association
Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation
Land Air Water
Moot Court Board
Oregon Innocence Network — Rita Radostitz, adjunct instructor Oregon Law Review
Oregon Review of International Law
Phi Alpha Delta
Pro Bono Committee
Public Interest/Public Service Program (PIPS) Service Committee
PIPS board of directors
Liane Richardson, assistant dean of students, and the UO Law administrative office
Eliza Schmidkunz, assistant director for communications, UO Law
Sports and Entertainment Law Forum
Student Bar Association
Women’s Law Forum

 -Eliza Schmidkunz

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