Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA's Jacks Council on Family Relations serves community through Thanksgiving Homebound project

November 15, 2016 - University Marketing Communications
Stephen F. Austin State University's Jacks Council on Family Relations is serving more than 120 families through its annual Thanksgiving Homebound project. Pictured from left are Shannon Valenta, Allen junior and JCFR member; Dr. Jennifer Newquist, JCFR faculty adviser and assistant professor at SFA; Dysha Collins, Houston junior and JCFR member; and Ashley Walton, Jasper sophomore and JCFR member.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's Jacks Council on Family Relations has surpassed its goal by serving more than 120 families through its annual Thanksgiving Homebound project.

Since October, the student-led group has asked members of the Nacogdoches and SFA communities to donate Thanksgiving meals to families in its adopted organizations, which include the Solid Foundation, GETCAP Head Start and The Family Crisis Center of East Texas.

Kelsey Ticer, JCFR president and SFA graduate student from Wolfe City, has been instrumental in coordinating the food drive.

"Thanksgiving Homebound is an opportunity to gather other students or individuals, either from campus or the community, to serve others who may not have the chance or ability to have a Thanksgiving meal," Ticer said. "We always strive to reach more people so more families can enjoy their holidays without the worry of how they are going to provide for their families."

Through this project, JCFR matches participants with families and sends participants a description of a family and checklist of items to purchase. The checklist includes grocery items such as potatoes, cornbread mix, vegetables and dressing. Participants also are asked to purchase a $25 gift card to help their family buy perishable items such as meat, butter, milk and/or eggs.

Dr. Jennifer Newquist, JCFR faculty adviser and assistant professor in SFA's School of Human Sciences, said the group had 82 people adopt one or more families this year.

"I am so happy that the human development and family studies students, SFA students and community organizations have come together to provide a much-needed service to our Nacogdoches community," Newquist said. "Not only did we have organizations and departments contribute, but we also had individual students and community members adopt families."

This Friday, the participating community organizations will pick up the food items to distribute to the families.

"This project has impacted me by seeing the teamwork that comes from both the SFA and Nacogdoches communities," Ticer said. "The sense of unity we have at this time of year is always great to experience and it shows that even through hard times we can still depend and support one another by providing food."

For more information, contact JCFR at sfasujcfr@gmail.com.