Earlier this month, a group of students from the South Dakota State University “Introduction to Nonprofits” class held a pancake feed on our behalf. I have been pushing for a campus event since I went on the Service Area Resource Council as youth liaison in 2006 and I was so excited that we finally made it a reality!
It was interesting to help plan and implement the event as the campus has rules and restrictions they had to deal with first. They had to purchase the supplies from Aramark (campus food system) in order to hold it on campus. That was no big deal.
Then came the communication issues. The group wanted to rent a large griddle from a local foundation. Unfortunately, that fell through 2 days before the event and their adviser had to purchase countertop griddles. They did not communicate what they had or what they needed so when it came to the event we were a little bit nervous.
They had also asked that I round up Red Cross volunteers to help but they didn’t know how many they needed. I sent an email to our board and disaster team and received a few emails. I was hoping that would be enough as this was really a class project and was up to them to basically run it. I had my boyfriend and his mom on standby in case I needed a couple more volunteers throughout the time!
When I arrived at 8 am to set up, the group had everything ready to go and were basically killing time until they could start up the griddles. It was a great scene to show up to. We ended up serving around 125 people from 9 am until 1 pm, and for it being a first time fundraiser, I was happy with that. The group did an amazing job and it all worked out great! We are in the works of planning a campus event for spring as well to gain more awareness.
I would like to take this time to encourage all chapters who have an American Humanics program at their local university/college to get in touch with them and start an ongoing relationship. Not only can the program offer your chapter with amazing volunteers, you are helping those students gain nonprofit experience. I know personally because American Humanics is what provided me with the opportunity to serve in the Red Cross in the first place!
To find out if there is a AH program near you, visit their site!
Jessica Mueller, South Dakota