For our Choose Charity event, Young Americans for Liberty @ El Camino College focused on fundraising for a local charity for four days on campus during the last week of November, as well as volunteering at a charity off-campus.
We selected Loaves and Fishes, a private charity in Torrance that holds a monthly banquet serving hot meals and clothing to the homeless. We chose this charity because a few of our club members have had previous experience volunteering there and have noticed over the years that more people are coming in to receive services because they are struggling to find work, feed their kids, and pay the bills.
So, the focus of our activity was also to raise awareness on the economy and the failure of our welfare programs. We wanted to show students that we should choose voluntary charity over being coerced to pay into a broken system that doesn't offer real morality, or more importantly, real security. By supporting our community voluntarily, we are setting example that will ideally influence our culture.
To attract students to the booth, we wore festive elf hats and chimed tin bells. Some curious students would come over from the other side of campus just to see what the bells were for. We also displayed a vinyl "Choose Charity" banner and a soup-can pyramid to indicate that canned goods, clothes, and blankets would be accepted throughout the four days of fundraising.
We tied the theme together by setting up a tall gift-wrapped prop which was a visual representation of the donation gift that would go to the charity. Donors had the option of writing their name on a gift tag and placing it on the present along with a bow to show that they contributed. The prop was simply put together by recycling our 'Free Speech' wall (from our last event) by covering it in wrapping paper, velvet ribbon, and a large bow.
Some students donated whatever change they had in their pockets while others donated generous amounts. One student in particular donated a generous $20, reasoning that, "I know what it feels like to struggle and have nothing." The anonymous donor signed the prop present with, "To: Hope, From: Love".