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Claflin reaches out to community; university donates Thanksgiving boxes

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Jack and Jill’s Creighton, left, and Craig Williams deliver their donations.

Claflin's Leroy Durant talks about the importance and blessing it is to give back to the community that the university is in.

Claflin University continued to reach out to the community this year through its Thanksgiving charity event.

The university provided Thanksgiving baskets to select families in the Orangeburg area. Two of the people who played major parts in the effort are Carolyn Snell and Leroy Durant.

“Families look for this. Families ask about it: When it is going to happen? Will it happen?” Durant said.

“This is a blessing for many, many families,” he said.

Claflin has been providing Thanksgiving baskets for almost three decades. The effort was once in jeopardy due to COVID-19, but it was transformed into a drive-through event.

“When you're giving, you're giving from the heart. No matter whether it's COVID or something else, nothing can stop you from doing that,” Snell said.

Claflin selected the families that received the baskets with the help of information from the S.C. Department of Social Services and the Orangeburg County Council on Aging.

The baskets held a variety of food items and drinks.

“It means everything in this season, a season of thanksgiving,” Snell said.

She noted the community also supports Claflin and its events.

Durant said the university is not isolated.

“It sits within the community and we have to remember that these are the same individuals that support the university in various events. These are the same individuals that our students count on, that community service works with,” Durant said.

“It’s a great opportunity for me and the university to share its wealth,” Durant said.

More than 80 boxes were donated. The boxes came from various organizations and groups across the campus.

“I believe in what you have, you give, and you will prosper,” Durant said.

"It's very important. It's the act of kindness, is an act of love, and we're all about that here at Claflin University," Snell said.

Durant sees the tradition continuing at Claflin, with President Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack expanding the university’s relationship with the people of Orangeburg.

“Dr. Warmack is here and he looks forward to linking the university and the community family,” Durant said.

Terry Benjamin II, a Claflin University mass communications senior, is reporting for The Times and Democrat as a Lee Enterprises-sponsored news-sports intern.


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