BHSU students and staff put Thanksgiving baskets together

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, November 26, 2014/Categories: 2014

Black Hills State University Student Senate president Chase Vogel, business administration-economics and finance major from Cheyenne, Wyo., left, and Erica Whitiker, student engagement and program coordinator, pack Thanksgiving baskets for families in need with BHSU Student Life staff members in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union. The baskets included a full Thanksgiving spread and children's books collected during a campus book drive.

Nearly 15 Black Hills State University volunteers put together Thanksgiving baskets this week for those in need.

The volunteers packed five baskets for families in need in the Little Jackets Learning Center on campus. The baskets were complete with a Thanksgiving spread of turkey, dressing, potatoes, cranberry relish, carrots, olives, celery, milk, butter and dinner rolls. The baskets also included a variety of children's books that were collected during a campus book drive.

"We are extremely blessed and this is one way we can share some of our joy and holiday cheer with other families," said Lois Flagstad, vice president for student life at BHSU.

Mike Isaacson, BHSU dean of students and director of residence life, started the tradition 17 years ago, packing a basket or two for families whose children attend the Little Jackets Learning Center.

"It struck me as incredible that a family might not have the basics for food. We have families and kids that will not have a nice Thanksgiving to enjoy - something we take for granted," Isaacson said. "This just pulls at my heartstrings. We're just trying to offer up a little relief during the holidays for those people that are part of our BHSU family."

Isaacson would pack and deliver the baskets unanimously. But, his random act of kindness grew from there. A few baskets each year grew to more than five. Ten years ago, the Student Life offices became involved and have been packing baskets since. On average, the group puts together 10 to 12 baskets each Thanksgiving.

"We've been blessed with so many things," said Jane Klug, director of the Student Union at BHSU. "Education, a great job and students we can share our blessings with. We're paying it forward. That's what we do at BHSU."

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