Every semester the Art Club at Tyler Junior College hosts a canned food drive to benefit Tyler AIDS Services.

Tyler AIDS Services is a non-profit organization that started in 1989 as an information and resource center for those living with HIV/AIDS.

“We want to educate Smith County that HIV/AIDS is actually here,” Shawanna Thompson, client services coordinator, said.

Tyler AIDS Services food drive chairwoman Charlene Steed contacted Derrick White, art instructor at TJC, to see if the art department would help them achieve their goal.

“The Art Club has provided food for clients that they (HIV/AIDS patients) never could have. Derrick White and the members of the Art Club are a blessing,” Steed said.

According to White, three years ago, UT Tyler, TJC and Texas College had a competition as to which college would bring the most cans. TJC ended up winning by 1,500 cans.

Last fall semester, the Art Club collected about 1,000 food items to give away to the Tyler AIDS Services.

The art club has been doing this for three years now.

“The canned food drive is my favorite part of the semester because it’s always fun to help out the community and to see how many people can get involved,” sophomore art major Emily Kangerga said.

To help get people involved, the Art Club members make sculptures out of the cans.

The hope is that if anyone walks by the art rooms, they will see the sculptures and it will motivate them to help.

“We like to go as tall as we can go,” Kangerga said.

Doing the canned food drive also keeps with the three promises of TJC; number three being community service. Doing the canned food drive can benefit the local communities and bring TJC students together.

“This is a wonderful community service because you receive a greater blessing then the receiver,” Steed said.

For more information about donating go by Jenkins Hall art department lobby or call Tyler Aids Services at 903-592-0757. The can food drive ends March 27.

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