MSUPB hosts fundraising event

During their last event, the organization raised $1,014 providing more than 9,770 meals.

Students, faculty and members of the community were invited to build and personalize a Valentine’s Day stuffed animal, with food and monetary donations benefiting the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri at the fifth annual Sharing, Caring and Bearing event.

The Missouri Student Unions Programming Board hosted the event Wednesday in Memorial Union's Stotler Lounge.

Hoping to surpass last year’s donations of 240 pounds of food and $1,014, which allowed the Food Bank to provide local families with more than 9,770 meals, the MSUPS set a goal to raise 500 pounds of canned food and $1,200 in monetary donations.

After donating either five cans of food or $5, participants could choose between stuffing a teddy bear, tiger or polar bear. Personalization like ribbons, birth certificates and small hearts to put inside the stuffed animal were provided to allow guests to add their own touches. Although the bears were popular, the majority of people attending appeared to be MU fans and chose to stuff a tiger.

Although some attendees were building bears for someone special, some saw the event as a fun, relaxing way to spend time with friends and simultaneously contribute to the local community.

“This has been a tradition for me,” said Angela Lee, an MU senior majoring in musical education.

Lee said she enjoyed the event because it is a great bonding experience, and she had even planned a girls’ night around Sharing, Caring and Bearing, coming with a group of friends to make the bears.

“We enjoy doing this because the money and food are going to such a great cause,” said local resident Alissa Swenson, who built two bears for a pair of young Burmese refugees she met through a group her husband is involved with called Love, Inc.

The majority of attendees had participated in previous Sharing, Caring and Bearing events, and some were building a stuffed animal for the first time.

“I’ve never done this before,” graduate student Fu Wei Hung said.

Many participants made stuffed animals as a gifts for loved ones, and others chose to create one for themselves.

“Why wouldn’t someone want to make one of these?” said MUSPB member Kathryn Leeper, who also described the event as a creative way to raise money.

Jordan Dyson, event coordinator and director of the Tiger Love and Care committee, said she expected the event to be a great success.

“All the events we do are philanthropic,” Dyson said. “We especially try to focus on catering to student parents, who often can’t bring their kids along with them when they come to on-campus events.”

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