Coe College - Center for Community Engagement


Service Spotlight: Heather Ruiz

Thanksgiving Food Basket Project

What made you want to get involved with your service project and what was the outcome?

I didn’t truly see how a little help goes a long way until I volunteered for the Lake in the Hills Women’s League Thanksgiving Baskets back at home. Thanksgiving food items were donated to this organization to make “baskets” with a full Thanksgiving meal. It was awesome to see the amount of donations given and the kind hearts of the volunteers who helped make it happen. We were able to provide a Thanksgiving meal for over 200 families each year that I was there and I thought it was such a great project. I don’t think anyone deserves to go hungry, especially on a holiday about food and giving thanks. I was inspired to give back and do something similar here in Cedar Rapids. We are given so much in life it’s important to take a step back and give as well.

This year was my second of organizing a Thanksgiving Food Basket Project. Volunteers and I were able to sort and package over 20 boxes of food that were donated to the Linn Community Food Bank. We were not able to collect enough to make baskets of food, however I was filled with joy when I saw how much we were able to collect and sort. It made me so happy and thankful to see the amount of food we were able to donate to the food bank and make a difference in the community. It was a rewarding experience it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the Office of Community Engagement and the wonderful volunteers who gave up their time to help make it happen. A little help went a long way.


Heather and a small snippet of her remarks have been shared through the Office of Community Engagement social media outlets as well as on some of Coe College’s.

Heather 5

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