With freezing temperatures gripping the country, many college students are counting down the days to warm, waterfront getaways during spring break. Water is on the mind of the thousands of residents of Campus Living Villages' student housing communities across the US as well, but in a very different capacity. Just weeks into the semester, a variety of student-driven fundraising efforts are already underway with the goal of generating upwards of $20,000 in donations by Earth Day in April. The "Impact Thirst" initiative will benefit charity: water, a non-profit organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
According to Campus Living Villages Director of Residence Life, Randy Degner, "There are a number of great organizations that support clean water initiatives, but we decided on charity: water because 100% of donations go directly to water projects, and they understand the youth market. Residents can be engaged in ways they are most able through donations, creating their own campaigns and spreading the word through social media."
The "Impact" program, conceptualized by Campus Living Villages' Planning Committee as a way to demonstrate the collective power of community involvement, harnesses a volunteer force of approximately 17,500 Campus Living Villages US-based staff and residents. The fundraising target is for each Village to collect $1 per resident and for the CLV US home office in Houston to raise $3,000 towards the challenge. At this time, several Villages, including Woodview Commons at Illinois Central College in East Peoria, IL and University Forest at the University of Houston – Clear Lake in Houston, TX, have already hit 100% of their goal and still generating funds.
With the success of the fall semester's "Impact Hunger" endeavor, a component of Campus Living Villages' "Live, Learn, Grow" residence life program which raised 25,500 pounds of non-perishable items for food banks and assistance groups in 28 communities and 13 states, the expectations of both students and staff are high for "Impact Thirst." "Impact Hunger" resulted in 145% of the initial goal, and the 40-person Houston office embarked on a series of team activities, which raised $2,235 and 253 pounds of food to benefit the Houston Food Bank's Backpack Buddy Club.