Student-founded organization to raise money for needy children worldwide
Charity organization UNITED: FOR CHANGE announced today that it will hold its kickoff event featuring special musical guests on Mon., Jan. 19 at Belmont University. The 3-5 p.m. launch party will be held in Belmont’s Massey Performing Arts Center and coincides with President-Elect Barack Obama’s call for a national day of service.
UNITED: FOR CHANGE, founded by Belmont junior Joshua Maisner, is a movement to raise awareness of impoverished children worldwide and to create a sustainable financial model for college-age students to be part of the solution in helping eradicate children’s poverty. Each Belmont student will be asked to contribute their spare change each week. If each of the university’s 5,000 students donated $1 per week toward the effort, UNITED: FOR CHANGE could raise its goal of $100,000 over the course of the 20-week spring semester. The money raised will benefit four charities that impact children locally, nationally and internationally: Safe Haven Family Shelter, Feed the Children, African Leadership and World Vision.
“I’ve been really haunted by the plight of poor children in our community and around the world for some time, but as a college student, I’ve also felt incredibly powerless to do anything about it,” Maisner, a marketing major, said. “Then I realized that while my efforts alone might not seem significant, the efforts of a united campus could produce much bigger dividends. Asking individuals to contribute the spare change in their pockets on a weekly basis is a commitment that’s a lot easier for college students to do than to write a check each month.”
Belmont University Provost Dr. Dan McAlexander said, “The United for Change initiative is an outstanding example of the ways in which our students bring passion, knowledge and creativity to the core challenge of our mission ‘to engage and transform the world through disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage and faith.’ We support their work and are working with them to make their efforts as effective as they can possibly be.”
Coin collection boxes will be placed throughout campus so that students can donate loose change to the semester-long initiative. In addition, students may request individual-sized boxes to keep on hand in their residences as a reminder of the UNITED: FOR CHANGE charity effort. Representatives from each of the four beneficiaries of UNITED: FOR CHANGE will be present for Monday’s launch concert, and Maisner also hopes to invite each back to Belmont’s campus later in the semester to share with students more details about their organizations. For more information on UNITED: FOR CHANGE, visit www.belmont.edu/promo/unitedforchange/.