Donating opportunites abound for Halloween

By By Brandon Beifuss

By Brandon Beifuss

Even during the consumption-based confectioner’s holiday of Halloween, there are opportunities to enrich the community around the U with simple donations.

The Bennion Community Service Center is planning a door-to-door Trick-or-Can drive today at 5:30 p.m. from the southwest corner of the Rice-Eccles Stadium parking lot. This volunteer-based can drive, which ends at 8:30 p.m., is a simple way to put a few hours toward community service. Volunteers can even come in costume.

Becca Van Maren, the coordinator of this event, said the economic downturn has forced people to opt out of eating.

“People are forced to choose between paying medical bills, rent, heat and many other expenses,” she said. “Food is the one thing in people’s budgets that they have more wiggle room with.”

After understanding the pain of the decisions, it is incredibly helpful if U students and staff contribute in any way they can, even just dropping off a couple of cans.

Another opportunity exists for students at the U through the Black Pumpkin Affair, an annual Crimson Nights event. Students usually get into Crimson Nights with just their UCard, but the Black Pumpkin Affair is asking that students also bring two cans of food to donate.

With 5,000 students expected to attend the Black Pumpkin Affair by the Union Programming Council, this is a good chance to enjoy a sizeable party while supporting the community around you. The request for two cans is completely reasonable, even on a college budget and in the cliché reality of tough economic times. Two cans of food can be purchased with excess pocket change, and I’m certain they won’t turn away larger contributions.

“Demand is on the rise,” Maren said. “Donations are also on the rise but are still not able to cover the amount of demand.”

The UPC is expecting a large turnout, and it rightly chooses to link entrance to donation. Its efforts are not confined to canned foods, though.

“If a student donates money instead of canned goods, we will make sure it gets where it is supposed to be: the Utah Food Bank,” said Rachel Sellers, UPC director of Crimson Nights.

There are plenty of incentives to enjoy both the Black Pumpkin Affair and the Trick-or-Can drive by giving during the holiday weekend.

“All cans go toward Rivalry Week versus Brigham Young University,” Sellers said. In this way, you can donate as well as swell the U’s advantage against BYU come the rivalry game at the end of the season.

The need for food and financial donation is there and so is the method of assistance, through the timely work of the different service coordinators. Volunteers, as well as cans, for either of these organizations are happily accepted. With the many reasons to cheaply and easily contribute to the service opportunities at the U, staff and especially students should help those who can’t enjoy this holiday season as fully as the rest of us.

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