|RPCC students wrap gifts between classes for Brave Heart Children's Charity.
In the past 2 and a half months, River Parishes Community College students have raised more than $1600 and have coordinated donations for RPCC campus improvements and for children in River Parishes communities.
Three of RPCC’s student organizations have spearheaded the outreach and fundraising efforts on campus, raising money and donating toys and time to children-focused organizations. The Future Teachers Club held a campus bake sale and raised enough money to buy books for each first grader at St. Amant Primary School. RPCC’s Student Government Association and its Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society have partnered to collect toys for Ascension Parish fire departments so that when they are called out for a fire or other emergency they have something to take to children. All three clubs joined together to wrap almost 200 toys for children in foster and group homes this Christmas as part of Brave Heart-Children In Need Charity’s outreach.
“We live in these communities and think it’s important that we participate in them and give back to them,” stated Courtney Blanchard, RPCC’s SGA President and Pierre Part resident. Jessica Everett, SGA Vice President and St. Amant resident added, “We also wanted to do something for the holiday season. We think it’s very important that no child feels forgotten during this time of year.”
In addition to raising money for the community, RPCC’s SGA and PTK clubs sold RPCC T-shirts and started a recycling campaign—including cell phones, ink cartridges, paper and plastic bottles—in order to raise money for a new student lounge for RPCC’s growing student population. The SGA also brought Smoothie King on campus during mid-terms and was able to raise $189 for RPCC from the smoothie sales.
“This year’s SGA has done an unprecedented job in fundraising and in undertaking charitable initiatives,” commented Dr. Ben Nabors, Assistant Professor of English and one of the SGA’s sponsors. “However, the dollars and the number of gifts wrapped are only of secondary concern when compared to what they represent: a sincere, thoughtful commitment to the college and the community. The SGA members are role models for all members of the RPCC family because they demonstrate how, when combined, academic engagement and community engagement bring all involved closer to excellence.”
All three student organizations have plans for more outreach and fundraising in the spring semester. The SGA and PTK will continue the recycling initiative. Additionally, they will be promoting organ donation through a statewide digital poster, video and song contest. They will also be working with educational and children’s charities in St. James or St. John parishes. The Future Teachers Club will continue raising funds to buy books for other area primary school students.