Thanksgiving roundup: Portland area groups do good deeds

As I begin to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade, it seems appropriate to highlight some of the charitable work being done by Portland area groups.

Let’s start with the kids at Fred P. Hall Elementary School, who in recent weeks partnered with Portland High School students for a food drive to benefit the Wayside Food Programs. According to an announcement by the Portland Public Schools, the Hall and Bulldog students collected food and supplies, and members of the high school student council packaged it up for Wayside.

Between the two school groups, about 400 pounds of food was donated, with Bangor Savings Bank pitching in with both food and $250 in cash donations.

(Below: Hall School students holding their food drive, submitted by the district)

St. Joseph’s College racks up some pies

Even though classes at the Standish college were canceled because of the snowstorm Wednesday, that didn’t stop students and staff from coming together to bake pies: They set forth with a plan to double last year’s donation of 100 pies.

That’s 200 pies in one day, for those of you who looking to check your math.

The pies were to be added to Thanksgiving baskets given out by Catherine’s Cupboard Food Pantry (folks from the school also donated other food items for those baskets).

Stuart Leckie of Bon Appetit food services at St. Joe’s went all Braveheart when it became clear that a storm was heading for Maine on the day he planned to lead the ambitious pie baking.

“Our neighbors and friends will still need to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, and it is up to us,” Leckie said in a statement, likely riding a horse along a crowd of bakers, half of his face marked defiantly with flour. “Let’s show this snowstorm that nothing will stop this community pulling together to serve our neighbors and friends!”

Oakhurst donates a portion of its holiday Egg Nog sales to the Salvation Army

Oakhurst Dairy announced earlier this week it’s continuing its annual holiday tradition of donating five cents out of every sale of a container of Egg Nog or Light Egg Nog to the Salvation Army of Northern New England. Through 11 years to date, Oakhurst has raised $200,000 for the organization.

“Our company has a personal relationship with the Salvation Army that began more than 40 years ago with my mother,” said Bill Bennett, CEO and President of Oakhurst Dairy, in a statement. “The Salvation Army makes a difference in the lives of many families in the communities we serve and every year we look forward to making our Egg Nog campaign a success so that we can help support the important work this great organization does.”

Last year, Oakhurst sold 420,000 cartons of Egg Nog in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. On Dec. 7, Bennett family members and Oakhurst employees will man the Salvation Army kettle at the Maine Mall to collect donations and raise awareness of their Egg Nog fundraiser.

“Partnering with Oakhurst Dairy, for now our 12th year has been a true blessing for The Salvation Army and those who come to us for assistance,” said Major James LaBossiere, Salvation Army Divisional Commander of the Portland-based NNE Division, in a statement. “In these days of economic uncertainty, the on-going support of Oakhurst Dairy and the Bennett Family represent a real commitment by them to be responsible corporate citizens and true community leaders.”

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Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.