Tell the President you care about Foreign Aid - by Sarah Hunter, guest blogger:
Hey fellow OCCers! Let’s keep the momentum going from Lobby Day.Between now and May 31st Administrators in the government are opening up their schedules to hear from you, young Americans. President Obama has launched a campaign called “Your Future, Your Solutions” which aims to gather information from students via roundtable discussions on what we really care about. This is an excellent opportunity to let our government know that young people are globally conscious and support foreign aid initiatives like vaccines and agriculture programs. I recently participated in one with the Boston-based Millennium Campus Network (and fellow OCCers) and we were able to talk with Dr. Nicole Goldin, Senior Advisor in the Policy, Planning, and Learning Bureau at USAID. It was an excellent experience and I encourage everyone to gather up their ONE team and hold one. You can find out more information about how to host one here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/youngamericans.
What says fantastic job better than hearing from numerous individuals on campus about how much of an outstanding student organization your ONE chapter is? Hmmm-how‘s an Outstanding Student Organization Award for ya. That is right folks; the Drake University ONE chapter has been awarded the Outstanding Student Organization Award this past week at our annual Leaders and Luminaries ceremony on campus. Throughout the school year, the DrakeU_ONE chapter has rallied students in favor of signing dozens of petitions and letters to our Senators, we have launched several fund-raising events for ONE’s partner organizations, and most of all we have educated hundreds through our advocacy efforts on behalf of the billions of individuals suffering from poverty and preventable disease worldwide. Through such efforts, we have raised over nine hundred dollars for partner organizations, we have retained over 111 new ONE members on campus, and more importantly, we had a tremendous influence on the FY2011 budget allocations that took place on Capitol Hill last week, sparring effective life-saving programs. Our hard work and dedication as members of ONE has truly paid off, and to be honest, we could not have asked for a more rewarding experience such as the OCC. One might ask the question, how does making a difference in the lives of others work by using just our voice? Well, let me tell you something. Whether we are getting loud in Helmick Commons at our Lemon-AID stand in support of clean water and sanitation, hosting a ONE can/ONE call party, or whether we are simply tweeting about our upcoming screening of “The Lazarus Effect,” we are still making a lasting impact. A lasting impact easily achieved through education and outreach to others, others who may not be as aware of the current poverty crisis in the poorest parts of the world. Although I must say, I was very impressed with student’s receptiveness to issues of social justice. As new chapter to the ONE Campus Challenge this year, the DrakeU_ONE chapter has proven itself worthy of this recognition on campus, so with that said, congrats to us, the DrakeU_ONE chapter, along with the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, for kicking poverty’s butt in this year’s OCC.
The ONE Campaign OSU Chapter collaborated with UNICEF-OSU on their Water Walk event last Thursday. ONE members Tyler Tierney, Halima Askar and Tenika Murray had over 30 people sign the vaccines petition asking our elected leaders asking them to fund the pneumoccoccal and rotavirus vaccines. These vaccines could save 4 million lives in 5 years.
UNICEF ask for donations to provide people in the developing world clean water. And UNICEF staged a walk in which participants trekked to Mirror Lake, collected water, and carried it around campus in solidarity with those who have to walk miles to access similarly dirty water.
We worked together to both save children from dying of diarrhea and pneumonia, to raise awareness about poverty-related issues, and to provide access to clean water to developing communities.
After months of advocating to University of Michigan students and Ann Arbor residents alike, the ONE Campaign at U of M is ecstatic to announce that Ann Arbor was recently declared a city of ONE! Beginning earlier this year, we used a mix of creative and traditional methods to gain community support. We passed out free coffee and baked goods on campus to students who signed letters to Ann Arbor Mayor Hieftje. After our free screening of The Lazarus Effect, students hand-wrote personal messages to the mayor. Lastly, we reverse trick-or-treated around residential Ann Arbor on Halloween dressed up as the Millennium Development Goals. Some families were at first surprised that a group of college students were out trick-or-treating, but after explaining our costumes and what ONE is all about, they were happy to lend their support. On April 4th, seven of our members were present at the proclamation officially declaring Ann Arbor a city of ONE. We are so proud that Ann Arbor has joined us in the fight against global poverty and preventable disease!