The Todd steps will transform into a city of cardboard on Nov. 15. GIVE, a service organization, will create the makeshift town to promote the National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, which begins on Nov. 14.
GIVE Co-President Shawna Brennan said the organization’s purpose is to get students involved in community service events and educate people about pertinent issues.
“We want to empower students to care,” she said.
Since GIVE became an ASWSU committee in May, involvement has been growing, Brennan said. She thinks
participation will continue to grow as more students learn what GIVE does. More will also join to earn required service hours or to give back to the WSU community, she said.
Nicholas Ramirez, ASWSU District 10 senator and former GIVE co-president, said the organization is the philanthropic side of ASWSU.
Ramirez said GIVE offers students a slightly different way to get involved in the community. If students have ideas for a project, GIVE works with them to make it happen, he said.
GIVE’s most recent event was a mock car crash for Alcohol Awareness Week, which reminded students about the dangers of drinking and driving, he said.
Ramirez helped GIVE become an ASWSU committee and said its new status ensures longevity and enables the organization to reach more students.
“Clubs can come and go depending on the year, but ASWSU committees are more permanent,” he said. “They have more legitimacy.”
GIVE wasn’t established as an ASWSU committee until the end of last year, so the organization does not have a pre-approved budget like other committees, Ramirez said. Instead, GIVE officers request money from the ASWSU Senate on a case-by-case basis.
Alex Smith District 10 senator and head of the senate’s finance committee said the senate approved $475 for GIVE’s Alcohol Awareness Week activities. He said he hopes to see a lot of people get involved in future activities.
“I’m really excited to see the great things they’re going to do,” he said.
In addition to the annual mock car crash, GIVE also sponsors a Relay For Life team and partners with TOMS Shoes to hold One Day Without Shoes on campus each year.
Brennan said the organization welcomes new members, and current members always need help setting up for events.
GIVE is a great way for students to find people with similar values and interests, and it also enables students to get involved with the planning aspects of volunteering, she said.
“Community service can be fun,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be the same old, same old they’ve done in high school.”