May 19, 2011

Student Housing Communities Raise More Than $20,000 for charity: water

Spring semester fundraising efforts aimed to raise $1 per resident

In the past school year, the staff and residents of the 31 Campus Living Villages (CLV) student housing communities in the U.S., plus the American headquarters team, based in Houston, have made a substantial commitment to collaborative fundraising. The Impact program, which was conceived to demonstrate the collective power of community involvement, has just concluded the spring semester Thirst component by raising $20,421 for charity: water, a non-profit organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. This follows the equally successful fall semester Hunger initiative, which resulted in the donation of 25,500 lb of nonperishable items to food banks and assistance groups in 28 communities and 13 states. Both efforts served as a component of CLV's Live, Learn, Grow residence life calendar.

The goal of Impact Thirst was to raise $1 per resident; an overall target which was not only met, but exceeded. The village that raised the highest amount was Academy of Art University Housing in San Francisco with $2,871, while University Forest at the University of Houston–Clear Lake raised the highest percentage of its goal at 220%.

"I'm proud of the caring and generosity demonstrated by our residents and staff during this successful challenge,” said CLV Director of Residence Life Randy Degner. “Most of us take water for granted, and the current economy has Americans watching every dollar, so the villages had to be very creative with their programs and educate residents and their peers on the water crisis in other countries to secure donations."

Fundraising activities included collection jars, bake sales, raffles, silent auctions, basketball and video game tournaments and car washes. Some of the more creative efforts were a parent-focused Valentine's Day program entitled “Crush and Learn” conceived by Illinois Tower at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign with alternative gift bouquets of orange soda and blue balloons representing the school colors; the Polar Bear Dive at The Cottages of Lubbock, which serves Texas Tech University, where residents raised $50 each in sponsorships to participate in the plunge and earn souvenirs; and Humans vs. Zombies from Founder's Hall at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Ariz., which consisted of a game of moderated tag lasting several days and incorporating numerous puzzle challenges.