The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE to host meal for shelter residents

By Mark Bauer/se news editor

“It is more blessed to give than to receive,” and SE Campus is doing its part to give.

For more than a decade, the campus has hosted a dinner for Arlington Life Shelter residents. Last year they had to cancel the event as a result of the rare but treacherous winter weather that blew through North Texas.

With the exception of last year, Nita Haliburton, SE student development coordinator, said the smallest turnout she has seen since she has been at SE Campus is 90.

“The year Hurricane Katrina hit, we had more than 160 residents. But the average has been around 110,” she said.

The residents are bussed in from the Arlington Life Shelter, formerly known as the Arlington Night Shelter, and are treated to a warm, full course meal prepared from scratch by the culinary students. Much of the food used is donated, and some of the faculty pitch in money to help out.

“Sometimes faculty members will give us money and say, ‘Here—go buy whatever you need [for the event],” Haliburton said.

A few of the student organizations that have stepped up to volunteer and serve the residents include Alpha Phi Omega, Non-traditional Students and the Student Advisory Council.

But you do not have to be a part of an organization to volunteer.

“If [someone] wants to volunteer, they are free to do so. It’s an experience you’ll never forget,” she said.

To add a little spice to the evening, the drama department will perform a private showing of The Sheep Thief for the residents and volunteers in the Roberson Theater after the dinner.

Following the performance, the residents will return to the North Ballroom for a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, who will pass out donated toys and clothing.

Seven or eight Christmas trees will be located around campus with a drop box where students, faculty and staff can drop unwrapped, gently used or new gifts. Student activities asked that donations include additional items, such as batteries, if the gift requires them.

But the donations are not merely limited to toys. Student activities is asking for all types of clothing as well.

The dinner will be Nov. 29 at 6 p.m., and The Sheep Thief will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Haliburton says for those that have ever been homeless themselves, the opportunity to volunteer for the residents can be an especially touching experience.

“It is very rewarding for those who come,” she said.

For more information on ways to donate or volunteer, contact student activities at 817-515-3595.

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