Monday, November 16, 2009
Student-driven All For One campaign supports local, OU communitiesBy Katie Land, news editor
The holiday spirit is alive and well in the Oakland University student body, thanks to the All For One community giving campaign created by students Steve St. Germain, Jie Hun Lee and Jenny Cecchetti.
|Three OU students created the All For One community giving program to help the needy.
All For One’s plan is simple but far-reaching. The group asks students to donate one canned good item and one dollar each. The collected food is sent to the Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, and the money will to go to the OU Scholarship Fund.
The three students, representing the American Marketing Association and the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity student organizations, created the three-week long campaign that culminates in a wrap up party in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms from 8-11 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20. The party will feature a last chance to donate, as well as refreshments and a DJ.
“We wanted to do something to give back to the community,” St. Germain said. “We also wanted to find a way to help student organizations reach their community service requirements in a fun way that will enact a real change for people.”
The idea took shape quickly, and All For One built a base of support through the University Relations office, Center for Student Activities office and spread throughout Oakland’s student organizations. The group hopes to encourage student participation on a large scale and to instill a sense of giving and generosity on campus.
“We really wanted to create something that the whole university could get into,” Lee said. “This campaign gets students involved and also helps the needy. We are helping to put food on their table.”
The master’s of accounting student said the whole project came together in just over two weeks this fall. A big piece came when the students decided to combine helping the community with helping the OU community by donating money for scholarships as well.
“I have seen a host of ways that students give back to the Oakland community each and every day,” said Starr Cornell, OU’s director of annual giving. “If we composed a list of all these efforts, I think the OU community would be incredibly moved. The culture of philanthropy here at Oakland is very strong, and I feel fortunate to have joined such a thoughtful and philanthropically engaged community.”
The goal for this first year is to have at least 500 participants raising 500 food items for needy families and $500 for the scholarship fund. About 15 student organizations are actively involved now, according to St. Germain. Next year, they hope to attract even more and make the campaign an annual event.
“The more organizations we get involved, the bigger our network grows, and the greater the impact we will have on the community,” he said.
The student campaign fits nicely with the annual All-University Fund Drive, designed to offer faculty and staff the opportunity to contribute to Oakland scholarships, United Way and the Black United Fund. Organizers hope to raise upwards of $220,000 for this year alone.
“Being relatively new to OU, I have been impressed by the generosity of faculty and staff as demonstrated by the All-University Fund Drive, and now with the ingenuity of students as evidenced by this new drive,” Cornell said.
All For One has placed donation boxes liberally throughout campus, with the Center for Student Activities office in the Oakland Center serving as the central drop off location. Some boxes will be left out until the end of the semester to allow more time for students to donate.
For more information about the campaign, view the flyer.