IUPUI students bring Thanksgiving to those without a home

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For some students, going home for the holidays isn’t an option. Certain circumstances have left them without a home to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. 

Out of the kindness of their hearts, the mother-daughter duo of Tonya Hersha and Lauren McComb are putting together a Thanksgiving dinner for members of the LGBTQ community who don’t have a place to go. 

“Since my daughter came out a few years ago, I have been very involved in the LGBTQ community. I have heard so many stories of people being abandoned and alone,” Hersha said. “I know that pain, I could relate to it. We decided to do a dinner for those who had no support.” 

Since the two both study at IUPUI they knew of students who weren’t able to go home because of being in the LGBTQ community. 

“I work at the LGBTQ center on campus and I had overheard students saying they were afraid to go home because they aren’t out or they couldn’t go home,” McComb said. “A lot of them said they were looking for a ‘Friendsgiving’ that was [just] LGBTQ students.” 

Hersha posted an ad for a LGBTQ Thanksgiving in the Indiana Mama Bears Facebook page, an organization that is dedicated to parents with children in the LGBTQ community.  Many people offered to donate food and give help. 

“I have two turkeys, a ham and all of the side dishes you can think of. Two Whiskey Chicks Bakery in Plainfield is providing the desserts. We do not have a final headcount but so far [we are expecting] 30 students,” Hersha said. 

While working with the LGBTQ residential based learning community floor of North Hall, Hersha and McComb are able to host their dinner on campus. 

“Since I work for the LGBTQ center, which works closely with the Qmmunity floor [of North Hall], I was able to ask the RA who said it was okay,” McComb said. 

The dinner will be held at North Hall at 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. You don’t have to be apart of the LGBTQ community to come, any student is welcome. If you are interested in donating food you can contact Hersha through Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/tonya.hershamccomb


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