Radford Gives Back turns 5, receives continued support despite pandemic

Several members of the Highlander athletics teams helped collect donations during the 2021 Radford Gives Back canned food drive.

A determined group of the Radford University family kept the spirit of Radford Gives Back alive this spring semester.

The fifth annual canned food drive that benefits Bobcat Backpacks was scheduled for October 2020, but the pandemic disrupted its plans. However, that didn’t stop the Radford Gives Back steering committee from coming up with a Plan B. With COVID-19 precautions and the safety of the campus community in mind, the group of 11 campus representatives, including Radford University Carilion (RUC), came up with a revised Radford Gives Back strategy.

Historically, the food drive is held over a two-day period during which students, faculty and staff drop off donated goods at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. The event culminates with a special celebration where hundreds of volunteers pack bags with the donated items.

This year, donations were accepted for Bobcat Backpacks during drive-thru collection events held in campus Lot Z. At RUC, donations were collected for the Roanoke Area Ministries (RAM) House.

In total, 2,606 items were collected for Bobcat Backpacks and 1,048 items for RAM.

On behalf of the steering committee, Teresa Dickens, assistant director in the Center for Career and Talent Development, thanked the Radford family for continuing to support this important effort, one that has become a tradition of “putting others first.”

“We are incredibly proud of the entire campus community for their commitment to serving our local communities,” Dickens said. “We are especially grateful for President and First Lady Hemphill, who helped us establish the inaugural Radford Gives Back in 2016. We look forward to continuing this tradition, one that means so much to families in the New River and Roanoke valleys, for years to come.”

In addition to Dickens, the members of the Radford Gives Back Steering Committee are: Jessica Twiest, Lee Stewart, Kimberly Aspelmeier, Stephanie Bradley, Brigitte Contreras (student, Jane Fisher,Tricia Smith, Jenny Riffe, Alix Guynn, Elizabeth Costa (RUC) and Elizabeth Craft.

About Radford Gives Back

About the Bobcat Backpacks program


Mar 24, 2021
Mary Hardbarger
(540) 831-5150