Newman freshmen in Professor of History Kelly McFall’s Traditions and Transitions (T&T) class chose to hold an “alternative market” as their fall service project.
McFall said that several of his past T&T classes have also held the same fundraiser as their service project, so it’s become sort of a tradition.
“I’m the chair of the board for Alternative Gifts International (AGI), so I invited the executive director to come and speak,” said McFall. “We talked a lot about the way in which the market is actually fulfilling Newman’s mission. We are, in fact, transforming society by lifting people out of poverty and protecting the environment.”
McFall added that AGI is based in Wichita, but markets are run all over the country and in Canada.
The market was held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 16. Five booths were set up for the market, each with a group of students sharing the responsibilities of running the booth throughout the day.
Donovan Daniel said his group chose to help individuals in Malawi.
“Each group finds a cause on the AGI site and then markets or sells something to get people to donate to the cause they chose,” Daniel said. “We’re donating our money to Malawi, an East African country, which at the moment is classified as a third world country where 18 percent of children are born prematurely. So what we’re raising the money for is to get them basic support kits that will help them (the babies) get the proper nutrients.”
Other booths raised money for causes such as ending sex trafficking, saving coral reefs and sea turtles in southeast Asia, funding training to help children who might have special needs and fighting homelessness.
The students raised money by selling baked goods and care packages and holding raffles, among other activities.
McFall said each group selected which organization they wanted to support by using the AGI catalog. Most of the preparation was done outside of class, but McFall did give students some class time to prepare for the day.
“I’m extraordinarily proud of these students, who went above and beyond to help people they care for,” said McFall, “even if they don’t know them personally. They are the embodiment of the mission at Newman.”