CSU, Chico News

Construction Management’s ‘Can Do’ Project Yields Food for Hungry

Date: 12-01-2009

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs

A group of California State University, Chico students planned a unique food drive before Thanksgiving that placed empty shopping bags on people’s front steps in several local neighborhoods. The results far exceeded the expectations of members of the Construction Management Honor Society, Sigma Lambda Chi, Iota IV Chapter.

The honor society students, headed by President Phil Strawn and Secretary Nikki Kantor, decided that they wanted to do a food drive this year that would make a significant impact. The students dropped off 1,500 bags with letters requesting donations in 10 different neighborhoods on Monday, Nov. 16. They returned to collect them on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Construction management professor Mark Maybee helped the students plot neighborhoods and offered the use of his truck to collect the donations. Professor Jim O’Bannon also lent his truck. When students returned to the neighborhoods where they had left bags, they were astounded.

“Many people not only filled the bags we left, but put out additional bags,” said Strawn. “It was clear that people had gone and shopped for many of the things that were in the bags.”

“We also were surprised at how many other students joined the honor society volunteers,” said Kantor. “People brought their friends, and they brought others who wanted to help. And all of us were surprised at how much fun the whole project was.”

“It was like an Easter egg hunt,” said Strawn. “We would drive through a neighborhood and people would get excited when they spotted bags.”

The group collected more than 4,000 cans, approaching but not meeting their 5,000-can goal. That goal can stand for next year, said Strawn, who said the group would definitely hold the drive again. The students delivered the food to the Jesus Center, where the night crew stayed late to help unload the donations as they came in.

This is just one of the community projects the honor society is working on this year. They’ve already formed a crew that was auctioned off for one day’s work for a client, with the proceeds going to the Torres Shelter, and collected more than $17,000 for new computers in a computer lab in Langdon Hall, where the Department of Construction Management is located.

For more information about the Construction Management Honor Society or the can drive, contact Strawn at 530-520-6432.