John Hazard ’83 Kicks Off Annual Thanksgiving Drive at Morning Assembly
For many in the Jesuit community, November holds special significance as a time for reflection and giving, the primary tenets of the school’s mission to develop men of faith and men for others. This mission is no more apparent than in the school’s annual Thanksgiving Drive, which spans two weeks and unites alumni and current students in feeding 470 needy families throughout the greater New Orleans area.
To say that the Class of 1983 is among those who most look forward to this time of year would be an understatement. For more than two decades, class members have embraced the drive as a means of helping the less fortunate and connecting with younger Jays in the spirit of service. At Monday’s Morning Assembly, community service director Kevin Murphy ’00 announced the opening of the drive and introduced chairman John Hazard ’83, who represented his class and encouraged 1,400 Blue Jays in their efforts to be men for others.
“The men who began this [drive] 20 years ago laid the foundation for understanding the phrase ‘Men for Others,'” Hazard said. “I know you hear it a lot, but it’s something we’ve taken action to embrace.”
Hazard also conveyed his gratitude for being in a position to serve, asking Jays to consider their own gifts and to give accordingly.
“I have a personal saying that I try to live by,” Hazard said. “‘Effort is always recognized and often rewarded.’ Our reward is to offer others the opportunities to enjoy family, friends, faith, and food.”
Over the next two weeks, each homeroom will bring in canned goods and other items to fill at least five Thanksgiving baskets. Students will also collect the funds necessary to complete the baskets with perishable items such as a eggs, bread, and milk. The drive will culminate on Nov. 22 and 23, when student and alumni teams spend two days shopping for, packing, and delivering these baskets to hundreds of families in need. Thanks to the Class of 1983’s work, each basket distributed will contain the Thanksgiving meal’s centerpiece, the turkey.
Accompanying Hazard at Morning Assembly were classmates Mike Varisco, Malcolm Schwarzenbach, Lou Ingles, Eric Derbes, René Alvarez, David Martin, and Mike Prados. Each year the 1983 committee appeals to their classmates to provide the funds not only to purchase the turkeys for that year, but also to grow an endowment to eventually fully fund the turkey drive.