by Jambara Qualah
For more than a decade, homecoming at MSUM has meant more than a celebration of the campus community.
Every year, MSUM’s Homecoming Committee, along with other student organizations, has organized a service opportunity known as the Clean Start Project. A week before homecoming, 50 Cashwise boxes are distributed throughout the residence halls, academic buildings, and in the CMU for the campus community to donate new toiletry items, cell phones, non-violent video games, and toys to the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center.
“The goal is to help replenish the RACC’s stock for toiletry items,” said Assistant Director for Student Activities and Greek Life, Becky Boyle Jones. MSUM decided to join with the RACC to educate the campus and bring awareness to the community about the services and needs of the RACC.
RACC is the primary service provider in Fargo-Moorhead, West Fargo, and surrounding communities for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
“The reason we do a lot of work with the RACC is because they do a lot of bulk work; they’re the head of all the other smaller organizations,” said Homecoming Committee Community Outreach Coordinator Payton Nelson.
Last year, with the donations from MSUM, the RACC served almost 3,000 victims.
“I really like the fact that we have such a caring campus community; our students, faculty, staff, and alumni are really good about donating to the projects,” Jones said. “For me it’s exciting to see people caring enough about others to take some time out of their day to pass along.”
RACC Volunteering and Training Coordinator Nancy Boyle said it’s not about a specific amount of donation by any means. She said if there’s one student who brings in one bottle of shampoo, it’s an additional bottle of shampoo the RACC didn’t have.
“Anything that comes in the door is a gift. If it’s that person’s time, if it’s that tangible item, a check, whatever it is, that’s a gift back to our agency in order for us to then serve the Fargo community as best as we can,” she said.
Donation boxes can be found around campus Oct. 12 – 17. Nelson said she’s looking forward to seeing how many people will get involved.