Just as the Christmas season, which is predicated on the spirit of giving, approaches, CALYPSO (Caribbean Leading Young Professionals Student Organization) hosted a fundraiser for a youth outreach center in Monroe, “Our House” on Friday in front the Favrot Student Union. The activity was also a way to educate and sensitize the Grambling population regarding the Center and its programs.
Our House was founded by Dr. Carol Christopher, who is currently the executive director of the Center. It was established in 1990, and is an affiliate of the national Safe Place Program, which is designed to provide shelter, intervention and referral programs and advocacy to teens and their parents.
The informational table was set up at 10 a.m. as the volunteers pulled in the with broad smiles and hand gestures to the table. Those who were convinced to stop by and receive information on the biography and programs of Our House were motivated to donate as they expressed that this was a cause worthy of donations.
“When we think that we have it bad, and hear about the plight of others, we realize that there are those who are sometimes worse off than us,” lamented Vernette Simon, a junior marketing major from St. Lucia.
To some, donation was instinctive in nature and they did not hesitate to give whatever spare change and dollar bills they had in their wallets or purses. As the day wore on, people who approached the table did so with less help from the volunteers and with more effort on their part.
The volunteers gave away many freebies: pencils, rulers, stickers, Frisbees, with the Our House logo inscribed on them, which they offered as a reward to the donors. The students, of course, chose to get pencils and rulers.
The event was deemed a success by the executive of CALYPSO, although the monies have yet to be counted. CALYPSO intends to make this an annual event.
“We hope that next year more persons will be willing to donate more as they would be familiar with the charity,” CALYPSO vice president Nibert Saltibus said.
For more information about Our House or if you wish to donate, visit their Web site www.teen-help.com, mail in your donations to Our House, P.O. Box 7496, Monroe, LA 71211, or call (318) 345- 5556.