“Free Food in the student center!” I blared to the unexpected students, sitting in their groups around tables of the Flagler College Bistro. Most were already chowing down on Chik-Fil-A and paid no attention. Others I doubt heard me as they carried on, earphones amped with music. I wonder if anyone cared about what I was advertising. I wonder if there was anyone simply too afraid to take up the offer. You would think that college students would come running at the chance of a free meal. Turns out that the thought of needing real help can be a cringe worthy topic.
The Lion’s Den
I sat at what we call the Lion’s Den table. It was draped in a crimson Flagler College table cloth and displayed a glittered AFP sign I made from scratch. The Association of Fundraising Professionals, or AFP, is a club at Flagler College that aims to enhance ethical and effective fundraising throughout the collegiate chapter and the community. I am Vice President, and have taken on a lot more responsibility with the club these past couple years. The Lion’s Den is an event we hold once a month where we offer free pantry food items to students who may need a little extra help stocking their shelves. Some students just don’t have time or a vehicle to pick up groceries. Otherwise, we’re college kids and budgeting isn’t our strong suit.
A few students passed by and gazed upon the canned veggies and boxed mac-n-cheese behind me. I probably looked pretty dumb sitting there, offering free food that no one likes. Nevertheless, I could care less what people thought. There was bound to be someone AFP could help. Even assisting one student would have made Lion’s Den worth it that day.
We ended up helping more than one student. In fact, we gave food to several! Many students explained that due to the recent Hurricane Matthew flooding in their homes, it was tough to find the time and extra cash to go grocery shopping for the week. They found the Lion’s Den to be available at the right place and right time. This made me feel great. Not only was I helping out my fellow students, but I knew I was a part of a club with a mission minded attitude to help others.
What Else We Do
The Lion’s Den is just one activity AFP does to show how fundraising and non-profit work can be fun and beneficial for everyone. We also work hand in hand with local non-profits to raise money for worthy causes. All the while, we are networking with professionals in the industry, learning how to build our professional resume and making lifelong friends. The Association of Fundraising Professionals at Flagler College has become something more than a club to me. It’s a cause that has forced me to get involved with other peers and grow up as a responsible leader. AFP is a group I am proud to be a part of.
What About You?
How are you getting involved in your community or college? Whatever it is, make sure you love what you do. It is bound to take you places.
For more information about how you can get involved with AFP Flagler College collegiate chapter contact Jeff Davitt at email@example.com.