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Students give back before going forward

Each year, members of the senior class at Messiah College give a collective gift to an individual, a cause, or project that not only serves community but also builds on a legacy of student support and service for their soon-to-be alma mater. This year’s Senior Gift creates a long-term partnership with Food for the Hungry”an international relief and development organization that answers God’s call to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the poor in more than 26 countries.

Led by Anthony Thomas ’06, assistant director of annual giving, and a committee of student volunteers, the Senior Gift will contribute more than $4,000 toward a Food for the Hungry initiative in Rodeo, Bolivia, a small agricultural community of about 350 people whose health and economic sustainability is jeopardized by the inadequacies of its current water system.  Food for the Hungry plans to repair 500 meters of pipeline and build passes over streams, resulting in improved delivery of drinking water and reduction of gastrointestinal diseases.

Senior Gift EmailThe Senior Gift committee, comprised of seniors Jessanna Hall, Courtney Lancaster, Brittany Tasch, Brandon Parenteau, Rebecca Porterfield, and Lindsey Gorkos, has worked tirelessly to raise funds since September 2009 by promoting the project at student events, canvassing dorms, and e-mailing peers.

Thomas says seniors fully supported this year’s fundraising campaign. “More than 300 seniors cast their vote for the project, and nearly 200 have personally contributedSenior Gift Email to the fundraising effort,” he says. And their hard work has paid off. The more than $4000 raised is far greater than the original goal of $2009.
Last year’s senior class gift, the 2008 Sustainable Project Award, funded a conservation effort proposed by Steve Frank, electrical and computer-engineering technician in Messiah’s engineering department.  Frank’s proposal involved providing first-year students with educational materials and compact fluorescent light bulbs in an effort to encourage students to be good stewards of energy resources at Messiah.  These will be distributed on move in day, August 27, 2009.

To Learn More:

Food for the Hungry


Behind the campaign…

Jessanna HallJessanna Hall ’09 shared several experiences from her time serving on the Senior Gift committee:
“I went door-to-door around campus in the fall looking to raise awareness and funds for the Senior gift. Both juniors and seniors alike were eager to get involved and thrilled at the prospect of installing a water purification system, as well as—Lord-willing—building a long-term relationship with Rodeo, Bolivia. It was invigorating for me to be involved in this and see the passion spread for this project.”

“A pair of engaged seniors decided to donate to the Senior Gift instead of buying favors for guests at their wedding. Their generosity and selflessness was overwhelming, as was seen in many such similar examples from this past year.”

“Overall, God made himself evident as Jehovah Jireh “the Lord sees and provides”— by allowing us to raise $4062.96, greatly exceeding our goal of $2009. I consider it a privilege to have been a part of this project which is expanding the work of God not only across Messiah’s campus, but also in the community of Rodeo, Bolivia.”

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