The Clark State College Criminal Justice students will partner for the fifth consecutive year with the Springfield Police Division (SPD) and Meijer on Tuesday, November 21, for Operation Thanksgiving. The program will donate Thanksgiving meals and supplements to ten families identified by SPD.
“Service to others is a fundamental part of criminal justice,” said Karen Benton, interim dean of health, human and public service at Clark State. “Criminal justice students at Clark State are provided opportunities to learn about our community resources and also understand limitations that impact citizen’s quality of life. This activity provides our students with the opportunity to see how community organizations and members can come together to support those in need.”
Clark State criminal justice and police academy students collected non-perishable food items throughout the fall semester. Students will assist with securing additional food items at Meijer that morning through monetary donations made to the Springfield Police Department.
The Box 21 truck will be utilized to deliver the dinners and supplemental food items to a staging area where the items are sorted and boxed by volunteers from the SPD Alumni Association and Clark State students.
Operation Thanksgiving has been serving families in the community for 30 years. This is the fifth year the Clark State Criminal Justice Club has participated since it was established in 2019.
“The empathy these students have for families in our community that are in need has been evidenced each year,” said Benton. “Our partnership with the Springfield Police is one way our students demonstrate the classroom knowledge they have gained and their commitment to the citizens of our community.”