BLSA Hosts 19th Annual Thanksgiving Basket Competition to Help Families in Need

  • Creative Generosity
    Creative Generosity  Members of BLSA, including Mechelle A. King '21, Tolu Olaniyan ’21 and Nkemka Obineche '21, make a huge difference every year by helping provide Thanksgiving dinners to needy families in the community.  Photo by David F. Morrill
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The semester may be racing to a fast finish at William & Mary Law School, but first-year law students stayed up a little later this week and put in a lot of extra effort in support of the annual Thanksgiving Basket Competition sponsored by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA).

Enjoy the breadth of ideas and creativity that went into this year’s event with this gallery of photos.

As of noon on Thursday, Nov. 21, this year’s 19th competition saw 1L students collect more than 6,100 canned and boxed food items (with more to be counted), all of which go to those in need in the Williamsburg area.Section 13's "OCS Express" won Judges' Choice.

“It was a ton of fun to coordinate this year’s food drive—especially feeling the energy in the lobby over the lunch hour—and keep this beloved tradition going,” said BLSA Community Service Chair Mechelle A. King ’21. “This year’s success is all thanks to the help of the BLSA community service committee members and executive board, Sara McNeil, Professors Killinger and Chason and the Legal Practice professors and fellows, the judges, and of course, the 1Ls for their participation, among many others.”

During the competition, first-year students representing sections of the Legal Practice Program create displays from a wide variety of canned and boxed foods, everything from creamed corn to green beans to stuffing mix and more. The idea is to engineer an inspiring display and collect the most amount of food items. All items then go to the William & Mary Campus Kitchen, which organizes the food into baskets, adds a turkey, and delivers them to local families.

Section 16's "Huntry Caterpillar" received Honorable Mention.On Wednesday, Nov. 20, faculty and staff judges took a good, long look at each entry—from recreations of the Macy’s Day Parade to Snoopy’s Doghouse to an “International Shoe” (a famous U.S. Supreme Court case) and made their decisions.

The clear winner was Section 13, which took the Judges’ Choice for “OCS Express,” a highly detailed train complete with sounds effects, lights and steam (as well as flattened elves underneath). Students in the winning section will receive a pizza party on the day of their choosing.

Honorable mentions went to Section 16’s “Hungry Caterpillar,” Section 11’s “Torts Zoo,” and Section 15’s “Tortasaurus.”Section 11's "Tort's Zoo" also receive Honorable Mention.

“What a show of creative generosity!” said BLSA President Tolu Olaniyan ’21. “Thank you to all the 1L sections that participated in this year’s BLSA Thanksgiving Basket Competition. All the displays were impressive.”

This year, BLSA was also able to raise more than $300 for turkeys thanks to a generous donation from Prof. Nancy Combs and a new initiative in which BLSA members sold and delivered thank-you cards to members of the law community. Read more.

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