PITTSBURG — Pittsburg State University students in the Writing for Nonprofits course get hands-on experience by creating fundraisers for local non profits and charities.

The students discussed ways they could help the organizations, Wesley House, Women Helping Women: A Fairy Godmother Fund and Live Well Crawford County.

Crowdfunding campaigns were created through a website called www.indiegogo.com. The website provides a way to electronically fund raise for organizations. When people donate certain amounts of money they receive a “prize” which varies between each organization. Wesley House does not have a prize option.

The students in the class were split into groups in which they selected organizations to assist. PSU student Wendy Russell said her group wanted to help people who are homeless and decided on Wesley House. The link to the campaign is: https://bit.ly/2I9TFk7.

Money raised for Wesley House will go toward an identification maker. The identification card can be used to access community resources and support — such as the day shelter program at Wesley House.
“Having proof of who you are is a matter of safety and dignity,” Russell said.

Wesley House Executive Director and Pastor Marcee Binder said the cards will not be an acceptable form of identification for things outside of Wesley House and partnered organizations.
“It will allow people here at Wesley House — my staff — to let my folks know they are enrolled in our emergency programs and emergency services,” she said.  “In the event that they did not have any other form of identification, they could show other partner agencies that they are part of the Wesley House program and are complaint with their program.”

Should the individuals get stopped in the street, the cards could let people know they are who say they are and that they are a member of the Wesley House Daytime Homeless program, Binder said.

Binder shared her appreciation for the university students’ efforts of crowdfunding for Wesley House.
“The fact that PSU students chose us as an organization to work with says a lot,” she said. “We have a great partnership with PSU.
“It means a lot to us that they want that partnership as much as we do.”

Binder also praised the community who already donated toward the cause. Wesley House has reached 60 percent of its goal.
“Whenever the community comes together to help folks that are in need, it just says a lot about the community and that the community really cares that everybody’s basic needs are met,” she said. “Being able to prove who you are is a big deal. A lot of folks care that they have a card that says who they we are, we all want to be known by our name.”

Another group of students created a campaign for Southeast Kansas Women Helping Women.
SEK WHW is a nonprofit organization which helps local women in need of financial assistance.
“I think it’s a really good project,” Co-President of WHW Laura Washburn said about the course project. “It gives them real-world, real-life experience.”

WHW is currently working on assisting local women with dental expenses and women who are caretakers for people. The organization is partnered with several agencies in the area to help reach these women in need — including Wesley House, Safehouse Crisis Center and Mother to Mother Ministry.

The link to the WHW crowdfunding campaign is: https://bit.ly/2Ifjv6v
WHW prizes include: t-shirt, cupcake, or sticker on different donation levels.

The third group is assisting Live Well Crawford County with a pedicab project called Pedal Power.  PSU seniors majoring in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Technology have designed a pedicab which can accommodate a rider in a wheelchair and has a bench for people to sit on while someone pedals for them.

The project was a collaboration between the students and a community partner, Live Well Crawford County, a non-profit organization that promotes healthy lifestyle choices through education, motivation, and support for all generations. It includes five task forces: Live Active, Eat Well, Breathe Well, Work Well and Age Well.

Writing for Nonprofits students created a campaign to help Live Well have another pedicab created.
“The dream is that every care facility would have one of these,” Live Well Community Liaison Matt O’Malley said.

O’Malley said what is “neat” about the project is that more students are being included on the project — Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Technology students, Health, Human Performance, and Recreation students who will be the pedicab drivers, and now Writing for Nonprofits students.
“Students are connecting with senior citizens, that’s also what is so neat about this project,” O’Malley said.

The link to the Live Well campaign is: https://bit.ly/2D4uw64
Prizes for this campaign include shout-outs on different platforms to having the donors name engraved on the pedicab.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.