Nov 13, 2022 | By Elizabeth Egan, '23
Enhancing the lives of community members and student volunteers through service and social justice programs is the focus of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern (FCSC) at St. Bonaventure University.
On Tuesday, Nov. 29, the FCSC
will host its fifth annual #GivingTuesdayatBonas fundraising initiative. The 24-hour crowdfunding event aims to raise $55,000 for advocacy, social justice and service programs on campus.
“St. Francis of Assisi believed that when we do good, we make God present in the world,” said Alice Miller Nation, director of the FCSC. “There are so many ways our students make God present in the world through their many acts of goodness each week.”
The outreach ministries to benefit from the event include: The Warming House, the nation’s oldest student-run soup kitchen, which has witnessed increased participation due to the pandemic and inflation; Farm to Table, a summer program providing students hands-on experience with sustainable agriculture and service; SBU@SPCA, offering Bona students the opportunity to spend time with homeless dogs and cats, helping them to become socialized and adoption ready; BonaBuddies, a youth mentoring program pairing Bona students with local children; Silver Wolves, connecting students with elders in the community; Break the Bubble, sending students off campus to participate in service projects; and the SBU Food Pantry, offering support to community members experiencing food insecurity.
Donations made during #GivingTuesdayatBonas play a crucial role in supporting these programs and allowing them to operate at their full potential.
For Allison Zhang, a junior public health and health science double major from Princeton, New Jersey, the opportunity to work with area youth through the Bona Buddies program has been rewarding. In her second year of volunteering, she now serves as the lead Bona Buddies coordinator.
“Being invested in something that is for someone else has been a great experience,” Zhang said. “One moment that really stood out to me was when a single mom of three pulled the coordinators aside to thank us for helping her out. She really appreciated having one day to drop off her kids, knowing they were safe and looked after while she had a few hours to make dinner and get stuff ready at home.”
To help demonstrate how these programs work from the perspective of the student volunteers, senior journalism major Elizabeth Egan of Rochester, New York, created a series of articles, interviewing and photographing student leaders in the different programs. Since September, the articles have appeared in the student-operated newspaper, The Bona Venture, and will continue through Giving Tuesday. Stories will also be circulated via email and on the #GivingTuesdayatBonas website.
The community is invited to visit www.sbu.edu/GivingTuesdayatBonas
now through Nov. 29 to donate and to use #GivingTuesdayatBonas on all social media channels to help spread the word.
For more information or to make a gift by phone, please contact SBU’s Advancement Services at (716) 375-2364.
Coinciding with the Thanksgiving holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of radical generosity.