By Heather Fabritze
Elm Staff Writer
Washington College’s Habitat for Humanity hosted a Penny Wars Fundraiser to support their service projects and activities. The fundraiser lasted from Tuesday, March 29 to Thursday, March 31.
The objective of a penny war is to collect the most money possible under one’s desired organization. To do so, participants put change — pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars — into their corresponding jar in Hodson Hall.
To participate in the penny wars, campus clubs or organizations could submit a Google Form to Habitat. A jar was then labeled with the organization’s name and was placed on the penny wars table in Hodson Hall.
In total, 11 clubs participated.
The winners of the penny wars were announced on Friday, April 8. First place went to Zeta Tau Alpha, second place to Alpha Chi Omega, and third place to Phi Delta Theta. Each of the top three winners won the opportunity to decorate a Little Free Pantry or one of the two Little Free Libraries that Habitat is constructing for the WC campus.
All earnings from the fundraiser went toward building either the Little Free Pantry or the Little Free Libraries. Fundraising Chair of Habitat senior Melissa Defrancesco emphasized the importance of putting the donations “right back into campus.”
According to Defrancesco, pooling their available student members and resources was the largest obstacle for this fundraiser.
“Timing was definitely a challenge,” Defrancesco said. “We’re a very small club at the moment since we had a lot of seniors graduate in the past few years, so we had trouble making a robust tabling schedule with just a few members available to work tabling shifts between our various classes and jobs. To help avoid this challenge in the future, we are actively looking for interested members to join us for fun building adventures and to expand our club’s presence and impact on campus.”
WC Habitat currently works with local partners such as Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity and Kent Attainable Housing to build homes for people in need. Pre-COVID-19, they would also travel to workdays in states like Alabama, South Carolina, and New Jersey.
Habitat Advisor, Director of the public health minor, Director of the Premedical Committee, and Associate Professor of Sociology Elizabeth Yost feels that these work trips allow greater connections with like-minded people.
“WC Habitat fosters inclusivity and service to others,” Yost said. “Joining Habitat connects you to generations of WC alum that work all over the US. It provides service opportunities to learn not only about yourself, but your local, regional, and national community.”
The idea of building communities with strong bonds is shared by those who participated in the fundraiser.
ZTA Vice President I junior Lexi Meola wanted to give back to the WC community as a whole.
“We decided to join to help out another club around campus since the campus has been really supportive of us with our philanthropy events,” Meola said. “We were so glad to help another important fundraising cause while doing something together as a sisterhood.”
Junior and Vice President of Philanthropy for AXO Emma Russell also appreciated the opportunity to contribute to other WC fundraisers.
“I think it’s really great to help out other organizations on campus,” Russell said. “AXO is all about supporting philanthropies, not just our own. We value community service and it’s just a plus that we’ll be able to decorate a mini library or pantry.”
The school year may be winding down, but Habitat continues to look for new members who are interested in building school morale and giving back to the community.