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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Carleton to raise funds, donate dining dollars for United Way

<y year, 90 percent of Northfielders are touched by services supported by the Northfield Area United Way. United Way is an international non-profit organization that raises money for community organizations such as literacy programs, housing, food shelves and many others.

The Northfield Area United Way supports about 30 local programs and receives donations from across the community, including from Carleton. And unlike many non-profit organizations, because its overhead costs are covered by grants, United Way puts 100 percent of the money raised towards direct service.

Carleton’s annual drive among faculty and staff usually raises about $80,000 for the Northfield Area United Way, a large fraction of their $450,000 goal. This year, the drive’s organizers hope to beat their record and raise $83,000, approximately 18 percent of the overall community goal.

In order to reach it, they hope to get students involved as well.

“I know that Carleton students are committed to Northfield. Their number of volunteer hours shows that,” said Christopher Tassava, associate director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and co-chair of Carleton’s drive.

“I hope that this is another way that they can give. Just $5 can buy several meals for someone at the local food shelf.”
The organizers want this drive to attract those students who are looking for a simple and quick way to make a real difference.

“I know that most students care about social justice and our local community, but with their busy lives they just need some easy ways to contribute,” said Sylvie Lam ’12, one of the student organizers.

Additionally, co-chairs Fred Rogers, Joe Hargis and Tassava hope to capitalize on students’ leftover dining dollars at the end of the term.

“We were initially going to do a meal replacement” through Bon Appétit, Lam said, “but then when we found out that only two dollars of that actually goes to the cause, we decided to ask students to donate their extra dining dollars instead.”

There will be a table in Sayles at lunchtime during tenth week (Nov. 14-18) where the dining dollars will be accepted.
“Roughly one third of the staff and faculty usually donate, and the money we raise makes us the biggest contributor in the area,” Tassava said. “I think that generosity speaks to Carleton’s commitment to Northfield. We are not just sitting in town, but we are a part of it.”

The Carleton community chose the United Way as the beneficiary of their annual drive because it distributes its sub-grants across the whole community and not just to one sub-set.

The community also decides which organizations receive the donations: an allocation panel of local volunteers reviews the applications and decides how to divvy out the money.

“In general, supporting the services of the United Way is a really good way to facilitate a positive relationship between the college and the town,” Lam said.

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