The Annual Donation Day is an incredible gift to the Seminary. Begun in the 1900s during the early Springfield days, Donation Day is instrumental in stocking and providing gifts to the Food & Clothing Co-op, which both feeds and clothes our students and their families at no cost to these future church workers and their spouses and children.
To give you an idea of the kind of generosity we’re talking about, click on the following graphic of the incredible amounts of food both gifted and purchased by gift from July 2017 to June 2018. We’re talking nearly 50,000 pounds of food (49,130 when you take into account the fact that the two butchered cows provided about 1,000 pounds of beef), which still doesn’t take into account the weight of milk, bread, eggs, all the unknown poundage donated from farms, and the money spent in grocery stores for additional items (canned food, medicine, diapers, etc.).
“You provide for the bodily needs of the students with generosity,” said Katherine Rittner, Director of the Co-ops, speaking to the women of the Seminary Guild and the LWML visitors. “We thank God for you every day and ask that you continue to support the students, faculty, and staff by keeping us in your daily prayers.”
The Student Association President, fourth-year Paul Gaschler, extended a thank you on behalf of the whole student body, for both those living in the dorms and those living off-campus. He has experienced both (spending the first two years of seminary in the dorms as a single student before he married during vicarage), and on his own account thanked the LWML mission grant that paid for laundry (one of the many often overlooked expenses of a life in higher ed, but one which is covered for our students because of the LWML), and the Clothing Co-op, which provided 90% of the furniture and appliances for him and his new wife that would have otherwise cost them hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Donation Day is in part a time for the day’s visitors to drop off donations (there was a long line of cars outside of the drop-off donation area this morning from the 80+ attendees using the time to drop off the items they’d gathered from their own churches and congregations), and on another part a chance to thank these ladies. Phyllis Thieme, President of the Seminary Guild, is pictured on the right, stepping up to the podium to address the room of about 80 women (with a few men in attendance as well). During lunch they were treated to a “fashion show” in which the wives and children of seminarians walked the room, showing off the clothing that came from the Co-op. Dr. Zieroth then served as keynote speaker.