By Dominic Daugherty
After donating 4,052 pounds and $4,349 worth of cash/Venmo donations to the Hays County Food Bank, the IFC has come back this fall with another great success on its hands. In a fun competition for all the fraternities on campus, the objective was to try to donate the most amount of cans and money before the deadline.
The IFC Canned Food Drive is a fundraising competition that the IFC has put together to raise money and donate food to the Hays County Food Bank before Thanksgiving. The competition this year took place from Oct. 31st-Nov. 18th and allows anyone to participate and give donations.
Wanting a more involved philanthropy event, in 2021 the IFC decided to shift its focus from a spring clothing drive to a fall canned food drive. Adding weekly benchmarks and rewards throughout it showed to be a massive success totaling 7,850 pounds and $2,500 to the Hays County Food Bank, a record donation.
Members of the IFC were very open to talking about the experience of running and overseeing a project like this. They were aware of the massive impact that this canned food drive has on the community of San Marcos. Jovan Bravo and Robert Dudolski gave helpful insight into the planning behind this.
To run an efficient canned food drive, the leadership needs to take the job and responsibility seriously. Ian Thomas, IFC VP of service, was the student who got to plan most of the canned food drive this year and didn’t take the job lightly.
“I’ve been planning this since the summer, from drop-off windows, Quad days, prizes for the fraternities, every single logistic has been covered. It has been pretty extensive and busy but nonetheless, it has been a great time,” VP of service Ian Thomas said.
This year, the IFC Council looked to replicate the results of last year and send a large donation to the Hays County Food Bank. Efforts started with setting tables out on the quad of the Texas State campus and campaigning for canned food and Venmo/cash donations.
In previous years it got complicated to get the cans to the Hays County Food Bank in a timely manner. Assistant Dean of Students Robert Dudolski, wanted to streamline the process this year which inspired the method they came up with.
“Instead of loading all of the cans onto campus and then taking them all to the Hays County Food Bank, fraternities have been able to drop off cans directly to the food bank. When they are there they will weigh the amount to confirm and track each fraternity’s individual donations for the competition,” Assistant Dean of Students Robert Dudolski said.
The students that help organized this canned food drive were Ian Thomas, Jovan Bravo, and JT Runke. It is clear that they are aware of what this canned food drive does for the people of San Marcos and understand what planning this meant to them.
They worked very hard during the entirety of the canned food drive and did as much as they possibly could to garner and encourage people to donate as much as possible. During the final week, they spent a lot of time at the Hays County Food Bank locking in and working those final hours to make sure everything was right in the end.
A lot of the fraternities decided to make a big donation at the end of the canned food drive to try and make a final push for the first-place spot. The food bank saw a lot of high-weight donations come in on the last day of the canned food drive. The donations were so high that the total number on the final day had doubled!
While the competition is fun, the donations are what matter above all else. IFC President Jovan Bravo was focused on the right things when overseeing this canned food drive.
“The competition is very fun and seeing the fraternities get into it is awesome, but the overall donation is the rewarding part. Seeing that final total and knowing that we did that is what it is all about,” IFC President Jovan Bravo said.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the canned food drive was the privilege to give back during Thanksgiving to the families of San Marcos who need it most. The IFC was delighted to be in the position to be the one to do this act of service for these families and talked about what it meant to them.
Overall the 2022 IFC canned food drive proved to be an amazing success for both Texas State IFC and San Marcos. Getting to give back during a time of need is always rewarding and seeing a group come together to accomplish a goal of this magnitude is a great sight to see.