Hannah Gibbs ’19, president and founder of the statewide service group Stand: The Student Service Initiative, announced the successful conclusion of the Peanut Butter and Pasta Food Drive, the Centre College group’s CentreTerm project to benefit New Hope Food Pantry in Danville. The group’s statement as an organization is for their members to stand together for the changes they want to see in the community through both service and philanthropy.
“I am very happy to say that with the support of the campus community, we were able to donate 43 jars of peanut butter and over 150 pounds of pasta, two of the pantry’s most-needed food items, as well as an incredible variety of other goods including much-needed soups, crackers, dried fruits, dried vegetables, cereals and other items that were of immediate benefit to the pantry,” Gibbs says.
Last fall, Stand collaborated with two other groups, Centre Action Reaches Everyone (C.A.R.E.), the campus’ umbrella service organization, and the Student Government Association, for a Hygiene Product Drive in conjunction with Poverty and Homelessness Week. It was then that members saw a need in the community and went to work.
“I think the partnership with New Hope mainly stemmed from what several of our members saw as an unaddressed need,” Gibbs says. “The Peanut Butter and Pasta Food Drive gave us a chance to promote New Hope as something for members of the community to be involved in as well as to establish a service location for future events hosted by our organization.
“We were overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from the community here at Centre,” Gibbs continues. “The event was very much a success due to the College’s willingness to invest in giving back to the Danville community. It’s my hope that we are able to do a similar event in the years to follow in order to continue in the spirit of giving back.”
Stand is planning a larger event at New Hope later this spring, and while it’s in the early stages, they look forward to another opportunity to work with the Food Pantry. They also have planned a week of related service events for March 13-17, focusing on International Human Trafficking Awareness and stronger regulations on human sex trafficking in Kentucky.
Their upcoming philanthropic events include hot chocolate delivery; a community art auction at Bluebird Market to benefit Wilderness Trace Child Development Center; hosting parent’s night out activities for children of both the campus and Danville communities; and a book drive to benefit non-profit organizations and the local jail.
Gibbs founded the organization prior to her first year at Centre, and she currently serves as the campus’ president, as well as president of the statewide organization. The group has grown to include chapters at Somerset Community College, the University of Louisville, Morehead State University, Eastern Kentucky University, and a chapter is in development at Western Kentucky University. During the summer, Gibbs hosts all of the presiding chapter presidents for a discussion of leadership goals for the upcoming year, revising the group’s constitution and further expansion across the state.
by Cindy Long
February 13, 2017