Elm Staff Writer
To most students at Washington College, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to go home and spend time with loved ones.
Some students, whether they are an exchange student or a domestic student whose home is across the country, remain on campus throughout the course of the holiday.
These students are exactly the people that senior Dylan Grimes and her mother, Maria Hynson, assistant director of Alumni Programming and advisor to Habitat for Humanity, had in mind when they began planning a Friendsgiving event.
Both Grimes and Hynson are a part of the hunger and homeless initiative on campus, and began planning the event with their focus on the students and staff who don’t have homes to return to on Thanksgiving.
With Hodson Hall closed on Thanksgiving Day, the pair wanted to offer students a Thanksgiving dinner and a place for fellowship. They began to plan the event with the help of Prince Johnson, assistant director of dining services.
“Because Prince is part of the hunger and homelessness initiative, he had suggested that he would provide food for a host family to do this [Friendsgiving],” Hynson said.
Although the Dining Hall made significant contributions to the event, Grimes and Hynson also cooked food themselves, especially to provide vegan and vegetarian options. The dinner was supplemented by attendees, who provided dishes to share.
The dinner was held at the Alumni House for easy access to those who wanted to attend, and Grimes explained the event was designed as open house so that attendees could come and go as they pleased.
The Alumni House also met Grimes’ and Hynson’s desire for a homey setting with a generally cozy ambience, one that would convey togetherness and friendship to visitors.
“We are thankful for what we have. And what we can do to make someone else feel at home and spread a little love out there in the world,” Hynson said.
Grimes and Hynson agreed that the goal of the event was to provide an opportunity for the people on campus to spend time together outside of school and meet new friends over a meal.
Grimes considered the meal a success based on the atmosphere she observed at the Friendsgiving.
“I think everyone had a good time, there was lots of laughs, conversation, and more. Everyone talked to everyone and it made it feel like togetherness,” she said.
Grimes and Hynson both expressed the hope that Friendsgiving at WC would become a tradition in the years to come.