The Clark State Community College Criminal Justice Club and Criminal Justice students collected nonperishable food items for five families in need of Thanksgiving meals.
“This year the items collected will be divided between Thanksgiving and Christmas - five each time,” said Karen Benton, assistant professor of Criminal Justice for Clark State. “This continues the tradition of assisting the Springfield Police Division and Meijer that began two years ago.”
Benton said this has been a different year for the annual drive due to the pandemic. Students delivered items to Clark State’s Greene Center in Beavercreek and the Brinkman Educational Center in downtown Springfield where advisors and partners will oversee the food distribution; students are unable to participate in the delivery process.
Second-year Clark State Criminal Justice student Braydan Dobney of Cedarville said he knew the food drive would be different from last year due to Covid-19, but also had confidence the students could still do something to help those in need.
“My lab for Forensic Science was the only class that was in-person. Our instructor asked us if we could bring in some non-perishable food since we were one of the only classes to be meeting in-person,” said Dobney. “It's something so simple, but it's good to know that we were able to help someone in need, especially given the circumstances. I feel like this food drive was a great way for us to help people out and also for Springfield Police to show what it means to serve the community.”
Benton said the response from the students was overwhelming, especially at this time when many students are struggling themselves.
In 2018 and 2019 the Criminal Justice Club collected non-perishable food items, Meijer prepared the meals for Operation Thanksgiving and they were delivered by members of the Clark State Criminal Justice Club, the Citizens Academy of Springfield and the Springfield Police Division.
“Service to others is an important aspect of Clark State’s Criminal Justice program and is a quality that should be evident in those who progress to become criminal justice practitioners,” said Benton. “I could not be prouder of the initiative shown by these students.”