Iona University’s Annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive Serves Over 136 Families
Every year members of the Iona Community gather in support of local families living below the poverty line
New Rochelle, N.Y. – Iona University’s annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive serves as a crucial form of support and resource for more than 136 local families in Westchester and the Bronx. The baskets are carefully curated and filled with necessary ingredients for families to enjoy their Thanksgiving meals. The event took place in the Mulcahy Gym, where members of Gael Nation contributed baskets of food with a personalized card for families.
In the spirit of generosity, numerous departments on campus and student-led organizations sponsored and collected food items to support families from many of our local community partners: HOPE Community Services, The Big Viv Foundation in New Rochelle, Greyston Foundation Child & Youth Services in Yonkers, and Thrive for Life in the Bronx.
The Secretary of the Inter-Religious Coalition of New Rochelle, George Morris ’70, ’74MA, spoke on behalf of HOPE Community Services. “Where there is love, that’s where God is. Charity is good, justice is better and that’s the next step,” said Morris.
The Office of Mission & Ministry strives to exude the Catholic tradition and the charism of Blessed Edmund Rice. The event is grounded in the ideals of mind, body and spirit. Brother Kevin Griffith blessed the baskets before they were in route to families.
“As Gaels, we don’t wish for a better world we use our gifts to make it one. This drive isn't just a tradition but an invitation to unite with our gifts and serve our world,” said Laura Fairchild, associate director of the Office of Mission & Ministry and Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
The event demonstrates Iona’s commitment to service and community. It also creates a ripple effect of togetherness and gratitude.
Leading up to the event, Iona students paused to reflect on what they were most thankful for this holiday.
“I’m thankful God wakes me up every day and I am surrounded by family and friends. And I am thankful for my health,” said Zaina Shleiwet ’24.
“This Thanksgiving, I am feeling grateful for the opportunity to grow and improve so I can become a better person and do even better things,” said Joseph Ferrer ’23.
Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just six percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.