With Thanksgiving break quickly approaching, many Liberty University students are eagerly awaiting the chance to go home and spend time with friends and family. But for some students, going home is not an option. Fortunately, Liberty students who will be staying on campus for Thanksgiving break do not have to spend Thanksgiving Day alone.
The second annual Annex Thanksgiving Dinner will be held Nov. 28 at the Annex II lobby at 2 p.m. Liberty students will have the opportunity to enjoy a free, home-cooked meal, which will include Thanksgiving favorites such as turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pie, while enjoying a time of fellowship.
Liberty University Resident Director (RD) Sarah Fahrenbruch had the idea of starting this dinner last November when she discovered that she would be staying in Lynchburg over Thanksgiving break.
According to Fahrenbruch, last year was her first year as an RD. Fahrenbruch was one of the RDs required to be on call over break, walking through every hall and quad to ensure that the buildings and students were safe.
Upon learning that she would be staying in Lynchburg over break, Fahrenbruch’s intial reaction was one of disappointment. But she knew that God would use this Thanksgiving break for his glory.
“At first, I was pretty upset because Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday,” Fahrenbruch said. “(B)ut I knew that it was part of my job and that the Lord would use this break for his glory in some way.”
Thanksgiving is a time to be surrounded by friends and family, and Fahrenburch knew that she did not want to spend Thanksgiving Day alone. After talking to a couple at the annex, Fahrenbruch learned that there would be several students staying at the annex over break.
“It was in that conversation with (the couple when) the idea came to me,” Fahrenbruch said. “Why not cook a big Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy it with all the annex students, both male and female, as one big family?”
According to Fahrenburch, the couple was quickly supported her idea of a home-cooked meal, especially since the majority of meal locations on campus were closed.
Fahrenburch was eager to pick Thanksgiving as the break she would spend on campus this year, because she wanted to put on the second annual Annex Thanksgiving Dinner.
“I wanted to make this year’s dinner bigger and better and really open the whole dinner up to any student on campus who was staying here (at Liberty) over break,” Fahrenbruch said.
Originally, Fahrenbruch was planning on doing dinner with just the annex students, but the image of lonely students in their dorm rooms, having makeshift Thanksgiving dinners with whatever food they had, kept appearing in her mind.
“(U)ltimately (I) changed my mindset on the guest list,” Fahrenbruch said. “I want to open the dinner up to any student who is here, because holidays are meant to (be) spent with people, even if they are all strangers.”
According to Fahrenbruch, she and a few students cooked the whole dinner last year. However, in order to reach all of Liberty’s campus this year, Fahrenbruch is seeking help from the RD community.
“I mentioned this dinner to the whole RD team (which covers all of the residential dorms), and they have been beyond kind in donating cans of food, pies, cooking supplies and money to help make this dinner special for the students,” Fahrenbruch said.
Fahrenburch believes that the RD team has been blessed in putting this dinner together for students.
“It’s not because it is our job that we do things like (the dinner), it is because we truly love the students here at Liberty University and want to show them the love of Christ in any way that we can,” Fahrenburch said.
The schedule of events for the dinner will be much the same as last year. According to Fahrenburcg, following dinner there will be a time for watching football, movies and playing games.
“I hope students don’t just get a good meal out of this event, but rather that they have a time of fellowship that is so encouraging that it brings them to their knees in thanksgiving to the Lord,” Fahrenburch said. “The whole purpose of this event is to serve the students who are here and to bring them to a point of thanksgiving and even for some to see Christ’s love in action for the first time.”
Liberty students are asked to RSVP to Fahrenburch by Nov. 25 if they want to attend the dinner.
For more information about the second annual Annex Thanksgiving Dinner, transportation to the event and to RSVP, contact Fahrenburch at firstname.lastname@example.org.