Global focus reaches far beyond campus
After a nine-month effort, the Disability Services Club (DSC) has completed its fundraising campaign for Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), a non-profit Christian organization. The club reached their collection goal of $22,000 on Jan. 4.
The money the group collected paid for most of the 495 boxes, or 106,920 meals, that were packed during the Make A Difference Day site DSC hosted last semester. Volunteers spent the day placing pre-packaged food into boxes to be sent to children in need throughout the world. 36 boxes went to Haiti, 252 to South Africa, 180 to the Dominican Republic and 27 boxes to Ethiopia through a variety of FMSC partners, with 216 meals in each box.
“The process went very well and was extremely exciting,” DSC President Morgan Elliott said. “The most difficult part was the fundraising. Raising $22,000 was much harder than I expected.”
Elliott found the experience inspiring.
“While packing, you get this feeling that you are making a difference for hundreds of children. Even though you are thousands of miles from those children, there is a very personal connection to each child that eats those meals,” she said.
Fundraising efforts were lead by Elizabeth Puzniak, the vice president of DSC. According to Puzniak, the group collected roughly $1,000 through two “Friday Fast to Feed” events held last year. “Fast to Feed” called attention to the difference in the average price of a meal for student’s eating in Busch Student Center, which was calculated to be roughly $8, compared with the $0.22 cost to provide a meal to a child in need. The club asked BSC patrons to give up lunch for the day in order to donate the money that would have paid for their food.
The rest of the fundraising money came from soliciting in local businesses and asking for donations from family and friends.
“[DSC] placed posters around the Central West End as well as donation jars in local businesses to help spread the word of our event,” Puzniak said. “It is amazing how many people stop to donate when you stand around a Schnuck’s and ask for donations.”
Kate Sulkowski, the DSC treasurer, recommended working with FMSC because of her experience with the program in Chicago.
“I had packed before with Girl Scouts and my church at home and never really thought anything of the event,” Sulkowski said. “Then over Christmas break I did another pack and something about this one hit home.”
Once Sulkowski found a packing site for the event and received approval from the University, DSC got to work.
Sulkowski stated that they had the largest MADD site and raised the most money of any group at SLU.
Disability Services Club now intends to assist Good Shepard Lutheran Church with its own FMSC event. The church intends to pack over 300,000 meals this October, and DSC is working to have the date of their packing event coincide with that semester’s Make A Difference Day.
“If we get the funds the church wants to up the meal pack to 500,000,” Sulkowski said.
According to Morgan DSC also hopes to work with the Disability Services Office this semester in order to improve the campus accessibility map, which marks accessible parking, entrances and routes between the Frost, Medical and Law campuses, amongst other important designations.