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Over a decade ago, Crandall University began sending teams of students to help out at Harvest House each week. Harvest House is located at 182 High Street and seeks to provide for the needs of the homeless, addicted, and hurting within our community.
Originally, the students simply offered free tutoring to anyone preparing to earn their GED. As the students spent more time at Harvest House, they noticed frequenters of the program usually had little access to healthy home-cooked meals. Two years into the partnership, Chris Quek, a professor at Crandall University, took the initiative to help the students fill this nutritional gap. Each week, Quek and the students cook and serve healthy meals for anyone who stops by-regardless of whether or not they are being tutored. As Harvest House grew and expanded, so has Crandall’s involvement. In addition to tutoring and serving meals, the students now help with chores such as: cleaning bathrooms, washing bedding, and scrubbing floors. Many of these students have built strong relationships with the folk who frequent the shelter and feel their time at Harvest House has significantly impacted their lives.
Though many athletes would love to volunteer, being a student athlete at Crandall—or anywhere—is a huge time commitment. During the regular season, it’s nearly impossible to find time outside of practice, games, and school. However, as the basketball season wound down, the Women’s Basketball team began planning a way to help our community. They—along with Coach Harvard–jumped at the opportunity to attend Harvest House with Quek and his regular volunteers. The team cooked up a mouth-watering feast of pork chops, potatoes, veggies, and cake!
Kait McGraw, the team’s guard, commented that, “Volunteering at Harvest House is a very rewarding experience. It is nice to be able to reach out to those who may not have access to a warm, homemade meal and know that they won’t be hungry tonight. As an athlete, I am all about hard work, teamwork and dedication, which is what Harvest House exudes. It was a great feeling to know that we were making a small difference as a team, for those who are less fortunate in the community.”