Students in spirit of giving

The donations received so far at Sac State. Donations range from
scarves to cereal. 

The donations received so far at Sac State. Donations range from scarves to cereal. 

Kaitlin Bruce

Sacramento State is participating for the second time in the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services’ Spirit of Giving drive, which supplies clothing, food and money for the 60,000 people in need, living in Sacramento.

The Spirit of Giving drive will be open Mondays through Fridays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Community Engagement Center in the library, room 4028, and will be accepting donations until Dec. 21.

In addition to clothing and food donations, the virtual drive’s website will be up until Jan. 6, supplying a more accessible outlet to donors. Every dollar donated online will provide $10 worth of goods and services.

Kelly Siefken, communications director of the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, believes the virtual drive puts the organization to a great advantage.

“I think the virtual drive is a really exciting opportunity for a lot of people to increase the amount they can raise. A lot of people can’t bring food or forget it at home, but this a way to extend that opportunity to everyone,” Siefken said.

Items accepted are canned and dry food, (no expired, prepared or opened food) baby food and formula, gently used clothing, maternity wear, winter items and linens such as blankets, sheets, towels and sleeping bags.

“We are really trying to encourage people with nutritious food and warm clothing to best serve those in need in our community,” Siefken said.

Sac State is also participating in the Sacramento Food Bank’s volunteer challenge, seeing who can have the greatest volunteer participation of all the schools and businesses involved through Jan. 6.

“Volunteers have to learn about all the programs we offer, and they choose where they fit best,” Siefken said. “Volunteers can sort, bag and distribute food and groceries, distribute clothing, work one-on-one tutoring adults and children, mentor parents and much more.”

Last year, the Sac State Kinesiology and Health Science Department alone was able to help raise 5,621 pounds of food, winning most collected for 51-99 employees.

Collectively, Sac State was able to collect 8,097 pounds of food and 654 articles of clothing.

The top participant was able to raise 6,721 pounds of food with one-50 employees, and Sac State is hoping to beat that this year.

Mary Worthington, a junior majoring in biological sciences , believes the drive is an excellent opportunity to give back.

“The best part of the drive for me has been having an active role in promoting the drive, so that the community now has the opportunity to get involved,” Worthington said. “With this drive, clothes, food and monetary donations help make it possible for people to give of themselves to better someone else. This drive is simply people helping people. “

Misty Garcia, volunteer program coordinator of Sac State Serves, has helped run the drive in the Community Engagement Center.

“Community awareness is an important part of leadership development. It is not so much that we want to “give back,” but rather get involved in our local communities, through learning or doing, depending on the needs and interests of individual students,” Garcia said.

Last year, the Community Engagement Center won the “Best Decorated Award” for the collection container, decorated like a tree and beehive with bees flying around using paper and Styrofoam.

“It was adorable. I thought it was amazing. I think it catches people’s attention, giving the opportunity to encourage people to give,” Siefken said.

The Sacramento Food Bank is a private, nonprofit organization that, with community support, gives to those less fortunate. The Spirit of Giving Drive is a key supporter of the food bank during the holidays and into the new year by providing emergency groceries and warm clothing to those in need.

Siefken also said without their volunteers, the Sacramento Food Bank would not be able to stay afloat.

“We rely on our incredible volunteers, donors, people coming out to run for feed the hungry, things like that,” Kelly said. “We rely on the community entirely. We have 4,000 volunteers annually.”

Garcia added how important it is to donate, no matter how small.

“SFBFS serves over 60,000 individuals in the Sacramento region annually, many of whom may be fellow students, our friends, or our families. One coat, one can of food, one hour of volunteering or $1 goes a long way when magnified by the donations of many in one campus community.

With more than 28,000 students, Sacramento State has the ability to make a huge impact in improving the lives of those in need, simply by working together,” Garcia said.

Kaitlin Bruce can be reached at [email protected] 


Sacramento Food Bank volunteer challenge

  • Individuals can sign up by attending the Sacramento Food Bank’s volunteer orientation by visiting the volunteer section of their website, 
  • Clubs and organizations are welcome, and they can arrange their volunteer efffort by contacting Robin Simpson, volunteer services manager at [email protected]