Beginning March 7, sororities and fraternities at CSUN are hoping to launch a second round of fundraising for the Asian tsunami relief effort by selling wristbands.
“We knew that no relief effort had thus far begun on campus, so we, as a community, wanted to be the first to help out the victims,” said Christopher Dyre, president of Lambda Chi Alpha and also head of the marketing committee for the fundraiser.
“We are also aware that many people on campus were affected by that tragedy through their families’ loss, so we wanted them to know we were there to help support them,” Dyre said.
According to Dyre, the drive is a joint effort with Pepperdine University, from which the CSUN groups are obtaining the wristbands. The wristbands are similar to the Nike Lance Armstrong wristbands, and will sell for $3 each.
“These are blue and say ‘Hope’ in eight different languages,” Dyre said. “(They include) eight of the languages that were spoken by the people killed or affected by the tsunami.”
According to Tasha Wendling, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and head of the administration committee, in addition to selling the wristbands, the groups will also be accepting donations.
This is the second part of a similar drive that was held earlier this month, but has been postponed until March due to delays in the shipment of the wristbands.
“Unfortunately, for reasons beyond our control, the wristbands were delayed beyond the deadline of our first attempt at holding a fundraising drive,” Wendling said.
However, even without the wristbands during the first drive, Wendling said they were able to raise more than $1,000 based on presales and donations from the student body and faculty.
“We will receive (the bracelets) as soon as March 5, and will begin tabling again to actually sell the wristbands in person, rather than just showing them what they would look like by pre-selling them,” Dyre said.
The money that is raised by the effort will be sent to Mercy Corps.
“We will be sending the money to Mercy Corps, which is an organization similar to that of the Red Cross or other humanitarian-type organizations,” Wendling said. “They distribute the funds to all countries affected, wherever there is need.”
According to Wendling, although the groups have not officially set a target sales figure, they hope to raise at least $5,000.
“We did more than $1,000 without the bands, so with them, I feel we can drastically increase that number, with the help of our student body,” Wendling said.
Dyre also shares similar hopes.
“Honestly, we just hope that we can raise as much money as possible through the selling of the wristbands and through donations,” Dyre said. “We don’t have a target amount because we will just sell, sell, sell until we are burnt out. Again, it has already been two weeks, and we have about $1,000. We were hoping for a better turnout than that, considering there are 33,000 students at CSUN. But we will take what we can get.”
The plan for a joint effort that involved all the sororities and fraternities at CSUN began during a Greek retreat over winter break.
“The drive idea came about at Greek Retreat, and the purpose was to create an all-Greek philanthropy project that we could share with both the CSUN community and the surrounding community,” Wendling said. “We felt that with our numbers we could make a difference in such a tragic event.”
The Asian tsunami disaster was chosen as the focus of the drive because the committee felt it had affected a significant number of people, including CSUN students. The committee is also hoping the drive will be successful so that it will stand out as precedent to hold an all-Greek philanthropy project every year.
“It’s a joint effort because we wanted as many people involved as possible, both because there is strength in numbers and because we, as a Greek community, wanted to reach out to other areas on campus and in the community,” Wendling said. “The event will be different every year, but we hope to continue reaching out to our surrounding community and helping those in need.”