In the spring, Community Outreach and Leadership Development received a call from the Friends Against Hunger organization, which was seeking volunteers for the three-day Meals a Million food packing event at the Springfield Expo Center. At the event, volunteers packaged meals for impoverished people both locally and internationally.
The Community Outreach office decided to make the event the November Project Panther Day in order to get the most bang for our bucks. We also went to the Student Activities office and requested they make it the Greek Day of Service. A month later, President Parnell made the commitment with other local college presidents to supply the bulk of the volunteers.
We reserved three 100 people slots and filled them. We had over 300 show up. We had students show up that did not sign up. Roughly 150 Greek members were present, 20 Student Affairs staff (which consisted of our office along with Residence Life/Student Activities staff), 10 members of the American Chemical Society, 100 students who signed up individually, and 20 teenagers from the Springfield Boys and Girls Clubs who came to serve beside Drury college students.
We invited the Boys and Girls Club youth as an outreach effort. They had a blast and received free Drury shirts for participating.
We packaged 1 million meals over the three day weekend with meals going to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and Haiti. Drury's Residence Life / Student Activities / Community Outreach staff along with Drury students stayed past their time slots on Sunday so the organization would reach their 1 million goal.
When the end of the Sunday shift approached and the goal had not been met one Drury student yelled out, "This isn't the Almost a Million Meals event. It's the Meals a Million!!!" So everyone stayed and worked longer. It was great!