Plants for a Purpose event honors local veterans

Education senior Chris Tyrrel writes a letter to a local veteran. Vanguard Photographer | Ryan Pelletier

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Military Student Affairs and Pine Grove Residential Life Staff held an event encouraging students to thank former members of the military.

Plants for a Purpose was held on Nov. 9, in the Student Life Rotunda.

Students could write thank you cards to veterans in exchange for potted succulent plants. Held annually since 2019, the event
produced over 100 letters from students to veterans last year.

Director of Military Student Affairs, Bethany Alford, anticipated a similar turnout this year.

“We hope this event draws in at least 100 students,” Alford said prior to the event.

Senior marketing major Morgan Jensen, lead coordinator of the event for Pine Grove, said the number of students that participated exceeded expectations.

“We had about 110 students in attendance [at] the event,” Jensen said. “It was great to see students take the time to go out of
their way whether they [were] on their way to class or to the marketplace, some even taking a break from their jobs, to sit down and thank a veteran for the freedoms and service that they have provided.”

Jensen decided to bring back the event this year in part because of the effects of COVID.

“Especially now, during the unprecedented times of the pandemic, we wanted to be sure that our veterans are not just celebrated one day out of the year, but every day for their service to our country,” she said.

A wide array of students made their way to the Rotunda to write thank you to a veteran on Tuesday.

“Students felt moved by the purpose of the event,” Jensen said. “It was especially moving to see international students participate in this event and express their appreciation for United States veterans as well. Students from all over campus attended and enjoyed an evening of letter writing and socialization with their friends in addition to a slideshow provided my Military Student Affairs.”

The cards were delivered to the Saginaw Veterans Affairs Department just in time for the official holiday on Thursday Nov. 11.

Beyond the Veterans Day celebrations, Alford said there are still ways for students to help those who have served in the military. “Students can get involved and show support to student veterans at SVSU by joining Student Veterans of America SVSU chapter,” she said. “Many think that this RSO is just for student veterans but it is actually for anyone who is an advocate of military-connected students.”

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