Students put the ‘fun’ in fundraising


Besides the regular stress the semester provides, students going on service learning trips or studying abroad feel the pressure to raise thousands of dollars before summer.   With that pressure, several students have adopted creative ways of fundraising.

Ashley Raber, a senior Spanish and math education major, will be studying abroad in Spain during the summer semester.

“I wanted to go somewhere else and get more of an experience,” Raber said. ” I thought Europe would be fun.  They have a really great Christian program over there.”

Sophomore Communication Arts Major, Sarah Diemer, has been selling bows for her service learning trip to Italy. (Photo by Cammera Archie)

This semester abroad will cost her about $10,000 for two months.  Having traveled before on a mission trip, Raber has experience in fundraising.

“My family has thought of making soups,” Raber said. “I went to Brazil in the past on a mission trip and the soup fundraiser really seemed to help.”

However, for this trip she and Kaylee Riley, a junior communication arts major who is going on the China service learning trip, thought of something new.

“Kaylee Riley and I would always have tea time,” Raber said. ” We were drinking tea one night and thought, ‘this would be different.’  Most people sell candy bars or baked goods,” Raber said.

Raber and Riley have made three blends of tea to sell: chamomile, green, and spearmint.

Raber started planning the tea fundraiser in November and pricing the materials to make the tea.

“I know with service learning trips, the whole group comes together,” Raber said. “But here it’s kind of like you are on your own and scholarships don’t transfer over the summer.  So I’m under more pressure than I would normally be.”

Sarah Diemer is a sophomore communication arts student who will be traveling to Italy during the summer.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Italy,” Diemer said. “I was an art major. So I’ve always been interested in the history. It’s really been the place I wanted to go, and it just so happens to have all of this cool art.”

In order to pay for a part of her trip, Diemer has been making and selling bows on campus and in her hometown.

“Me and my friend who is also going on the trip, we’ve been making bows and selling them around for two dollars,” Diemer said. “I mean, it’s been pretty successful, cause what girl doesn’t like bows?”

Italy costs $3200 for 15 days all-inclusive.  Diemer is almost half way to the total.

“It’s a process,” Diemer said. “You just [have] to trust in your family and friends to help you get there.  But also you need to have backup plans and fundraising ideas.  Fundraising ideas are kind of hard to come up with because you want to do something original, because everyone bakes food.”

Ann Lawson, professor of communication arts, is the leader of the Italy trip Diemer is going on.

“Most of them actually raise their money through letters, to people they know at church and family members,” Lawson said.

This is Lawson’s eighth time leading a service learning trip.  Besides Italy, Lawson has also led trips to Egypt, Mexico and Costa Rica.

“We’ve saturated the market, as far as here on campus,” Lawson said. “Being creative on campus is important, because students don’t have much money.  So if you are trying to get your roommates and the people on your floor, your team or your club to give you money everybody’s already asking them.”

For those looking to go on a service learning trip next summer, Lawson has some advice.

“Start saving money now,” Lawson said. “I know students are pulled in lots of directions; they have to help pay their way through school and buy books.  But if you can set aside what you spend on those expensive coffees every week and not get that…you put five dollars away a week. Fifty two weeks, you’ll have your money.”

 Casey Stevens is a staff writer for The Aviso AVW.

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