Profile: Rachel Hurrigan gives back on Thanksgiving

rachelhcroppedRachel Hurrigan, a senior at Manual had an action-packed Fall break. While most students slept till the evening of Thanksgiving day, Rachel woke up at 5 a.m. She sluggishly put on her clothes and let the cold crisp air of the morning wake her up. She made her way to the Wayside Mission to feed the homeless Thanksgiving meals. When she arrived, her drive to help people fully awakened her. “My morning was slow, but helping those in need was something I was thankful to be able to do,” Hurrigan said.

When Rachel entered the Wayside Mission, she was instructed by Ted, the head chef at Wayside Mission, to put on her hair net, apron, and plastic gloves. Rachel helped open cans and pull apart the turkey. “Ted had to keep me calm when touching the turkey,” Hurrigan said.

When Rachel was finished helping in the kitchen, she began to set the tables. She set out cookies that her and her co-workers prepared for Wayside Mission. “I love how my job [Great American Cookie] is filled with youthful people who want to help others. Sending cookies there was a nice thing,” Hurrigan said.

After giving back to those in community, Rachel quickly returned home to take a nap, which was short-lived because Rachel had to prepare for her own Thanksgiving dinner. “It was hard to keep myself moving after going to the Wayside Mission, but food always inspires me to move quicker.” Hurrigan commented jokingly.

After sharing a Thanksgiving dinner with her family, Rachel changed into her work clothes and headed to her job. The whole day she knew that at 10 o’clock she had to put her game face on and prepare for the holiday crowd. “I knew coming into it that trying to go home, to work, and Black Friday shopping was going to be a major task to tackle,” Hurrigan said.

Rachel, only working at Great American Cookie for 2 months, had never had this many customers at her register. “I don’t only work the register, I make cookies as well. The whole staff had to ban together to accomplish our task and satisfy these still hungry holiday shoppers,” Hurrigan said.

“At twelve that night I was already tired of being on my feet. I knew I wanted to get presents, so on my feet I stood. I passed up my first 10 minute break to make sure I had a decent amount of time to go get a few things and come back to my job,” Hurrigan said.

Hurrigan faded into the crowed as she got the items that were most important. When the anticipation to get gifts passed, her shift went by quickly. She was soon headed out the door to her friend, and manager’s house — Aliyah Powell (12). “Rachel, and I worked together the whole night. It was tiring, so we decided that she would come back to my house and crash,” Powell said.

If trying to get her seven healthy hours of sleep wasn’t a task in itself, she set off to go back to the mall that Black Friday morning to go shopping with her friends. “With everything that I did, giving back to those, and working my shift at work, hanging with my friends was a breathe of fresh air. Looking back on it, I’d do it all over again – with a tad more rest,” Hurrigan said.

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Shantel Pettway serves as a Multimedia Staff Member. She is a published poet, who wished to convert her free-spirited style into news written format. Shantel likes to watch children and cook up breakfast parfaits; not only does she cook up food, Shantel wants to spice up RedEye with her unique style.