Throughout the year, OU Extended Campus staff members donate time and money to help others through events sponsored by the EC-PACS Extended Family Committee. Whether it’s buying school supplies for children or volunteering out in the community, the committee works to make sure needs are met through staff events, service events and fundraisers.
This fall, the committee did something a little different to help military-affiliated students on the Norman campus. After noticing the pantry at the Student Veterans Association lounge and study area was running a little low, the committee launched a donation drive to restock the pantry.
“You can’t help but have compassion for people you talk to every day. A lot of times, these students are on a tight budget. They don’t have the time or money to grab meal. We try to help them out whenever we can.” - Gail Maucere
The lounge, located in the University Community Center, 730 College Ave., is utilized by OU’s student veterans between classes to study, relax and grab a quick bite to eat.
Gail Maucere, a Veterans Affairs school certifying official for OU Extended Campus, said she was inspired to hold the food drive after seeing a student whose wife is deployed walking across campus with his young daughter.
“You can’t help but have compassion for people you talk to every day. A lot of times, these students are on a tight budget. They don’t have the time or money to grab meal,” Maucere said. “We try to help them out whenever we can.”
In a few short days, OU Extended Campus staff members donated nearly a dozen grocery bags full of non-perishable snacks and easy-to-prepare microwaveable meals. The items were enough to fill several shelves in the lounge.
“Everyone was just wonderful about donating, and the student veterans were really appreciative,” Maucere said. “If there are little things we can do, it can help make it a better experience for them.”
The OU Student Veterans Association is a student-led organization that sponsors regular activities on campus, including Veterans Recognition and Appreciation Week events, the Sooner Salute Graduate Ceremony and tailgate parties during home football games. The lounge and study area is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To find out more about the OU Student Veterans Association and how you can help meet other needs the organization might have, visit their website at https://svaoklahoma.wixsite.com/ousva. You can also stay up to date on SVA events by following them on social media at https://www.facebook.com/SVAOklahoma.