Honors students bring in donations for charity

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published April 28, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated April 26, 2013 at 9:50 a.m.
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Nick Hillemann

John Marasco, a sophomore, pours tea to hand out while educating the University of Central Arkansas campus about how to make the most impact with their charitable giving. UCA students will also be taking donations for hunger relief (through Feed My Starving Children), shelter for the working homeless (through Our House of Little Rock) and clean water projects in Kenya (through Charity:Water).

Students at the University of Central Arkansas gathered at the center of campus April 19 to encourage others to give back to the community.

Donna Bowman, associate dean of the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College, and her students organized Campus Impact, an event to make a difference in the biggest way they could.

Bowman’s freshman seminar class and senior capstone class worked together to make Campus Impact a reality.

The students set up tables outside of the Short/Denney Residence Hall on the UCA campus and encouraged passersby to give to the charities that Bowman’s classes chose.

Bowman said her freshman course is more community based, and the senior class focuses on global engagement.

“Both of those classes investigated how to get the most bang for your buck when you give to charity,” Bowman said.

The event focused on three different fundraising drives and how to give most efficiently, Bowman said.

Sarah Gentry, a freshman from Maumelle, said students in her class wanted to show the campus what the charities they raised money for actually do for the community.

Feed My Starving Children, Our House in Little Rock and Charity: Water were the three organizations to which Bowman’s students chose to donate their time and money.

“We worked with Our House, which provides day care and teaches life skills to [residents],” Gentry said. “They teach skills that [residents] can keep with them and get back on their feet.”

In addition to life skills and day care, Our House provides the working homeless with housing, job training, education and summer youth programs, the shelter’s website states. The skills the charity teaches to its residents allow them to be successful in the workforce and their community.

Before choosing Our House as a charity for Campus Impact, Gentry said her class wanted to figure out an area in Arkansas that could benefit from a fundraiser. Gentry said central Arkansas has a “high” poverty level.

Feed My Starving Children is an organization committed to feeding children who are hungry in body and spirit, according to the organization’s website.

Campus Impact gave Bowman’s freshmen and seniors the chance to work together on a project to not only make the surrounding community better, but to impact the world. Both Charity: Water and Feed My Starving Children provide for people in need in countries on other continents.

Charity: Water’s website said the organization focuses on bringing clean drinking water to people who live in countries without clean water available to them. Bowman said her senior class focused on raising money and awareness for Charity: Water, and her freshman class focused on Our House and Feed My Starving Children.

“We often like to address higher-level needs because most people in America have basic needs taken care of,” Bowman said.

Campus Impact collaboratively raised $318.95 for all three charities on April 19, Bowman said.

“I was so proud of [my students],” Bowman said. “They were fearless. They shared what they learned and told others why they were doing what they were doing.”

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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