Clark State Criminal Justice Club Partners with SPD for Operation Thanksgiving

The Clark State College Criminal Justice Club will partner again with the Springfield Police Division (SPD) and Meijer on Tuesday, November 22, for Operation Thanksgiving. The program will donate Thanksgiving meals and supplements to 10 families identified by SPD.

“Service to others is a fundamental part of criminal justice,” said Karen Benton, associate professor and criminal justice program coordinator at Clark State. “Criminal justice students at Clark State are provided opportunities to learn our community resources and also understand limitations that impact citizen’s quality of life. This activity provides our students with the opportunity to see how community organizations and members can come together to support those in need.”

Clark State criminal justice and police academy students collected non-perishable food items throughout the fall semester. Students will assist with securing additional food items at Meijer that morning made possible through monetary donations to the Springfield Police Department.

The Box 21 truck will be utilized to deliver the dinners and supplemental food items to a staging area. The items will be sorted and boxed by volunteers from the SPD Alumni Association and Clark State students for the identified families.

Operation Thanksgiving has been serving families in the community for 30 years. This is the fifth year the Clark State Criminal Justice Club has participated since it was established in 2019.

“The empathy these students have for families in our community that are in need has been evidenced each year,” said Benton. “Our partnership with the Springfield Police Division is one way our students demonstrate the classroom knowledge they have gained and their commitment to the citizens of our community.”