by Natalia Kirychuk, Public Relations Writer
On November 3, decorated duffel bags for foster care children will fill the home of Cedarville University president Dr. Thomas White.
Donors to the CU Women fundraiser that purchased the bags will meet at White’s house to assemble and decorate the sturdy, attractive duffels before distribution to foster children locally.
In October, CU Women, an organization made up of female faculty, staff and friends of Cedarville University, partnered with foster support organization Together We Rise to provide the duffels, also called “Sweet Cases.” The group far exceeded its initial goal of $500, finishing the month-long campaign October 7 with more than $1,800 raised. That money will supply 67 bags to 67 foster care children.
Together We Rise collaborates with community partners to bring resources to foster children, such as “Sweet Cases,” which give foster children a duffel bag loaded with a few supplies, a Bible and a teddy bear. Many foster children have only a trash bag to carry their belongings.
Dr. Mary McCulley, assistant professor of English, suggested the idea of a service component to CU Women. She saw it as a way to live out their focus on James 1:27, which calls Christians to look after widows and orphans.
“We chose to work with Together We Rise because you can tell they care,” said McCulley. “100 percent of proceeds go toward supplies. We appreciate their responsiveness and how helpful they were with the campaign.”
Within a week of the fundraiser being announced, their goal of $500 was almost met, so CU Women raised the goal to $1,000. In a matter of days, that goal was met as well. When the campaign ended, they had raised almost four times their initial goal.
“I am thankful that so many people see this need,” said McCulley. “We wanted to include people outside of the CU Women organization in this fundraiser to create connections and allow students and others to serve the community.”
After they are assembled, the bags will be donated to the Bair Foundation, a faith-based foster and adoption agency in Dayton, Ohio.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.