July 13, 2009

Campus Community Could Help Build a School, One Penny at a Time


Pennies for Peace jars will appear around campus in the next weeks, and the campus community is being asked to drop in some extra change.

The coins collectively will aid the humanitarian work of Fall Convocation speaker Greg Mortenson. He is the author of this year's Common Reading book, Three Cups of Tea, and co-founder of the philanthropic organization Central Asia Institute.

A former mountain climber, Mortenson now scales obstacles to bring new schools and peace to remote villages in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. In his first Ohio appearance, the public can hear him talk about his mission at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 26, in Severance Hall.

Mortenson's story has compelled school children to join in his humanitarian efforts. The national bestseller, Three Cups of Tea, chronicles a lost mountain climber's encounter with people in rural Pakistan. Their life-saving generosity inspired Mortenson to return their kindness with a new school for the village children. One school inspired another one and another.

"This is a good story for new students," says Mayo Bulloch, chair of the Common Reading Book Committee. "It shows students how stepping off the path can take them in a new and wondrous direction in life."

Increasingly as college students read his book, they are propelled into action.

Audra Horomanski, a third-year double major in biology and Spanish, is among that group of students. She couldn't just close the book and move on.

"I had to do something," says Horomanski, who is a student Orientation leader and organizing activities for the incoming students. She took on this special project.

It takes Mortenson about $35,000 to build a new school. A penny can buy a pencil for children in this remote region of the world.

The good cause is off to a great start. Bon App├ętit generously launched the campaign by donating $500 and jars. The campus dining service also encourages other departments and offices on campus to match their gift.

Horomanski is organizing the Pennies for Peace drive for incoming students attending Orientation, beginning July 14. Jars will be at check-in.

This Orientation activity engages incoming students in community service, an important part of their educational experience at the university, states Kate Police Kraus, director of New Student and Parent Programs and associate director of the Educational Enhancement Programs.

Kraus says Ohio State University is also reading the book and launching a similar drive. She would like to show OSU that our campus community can also rally support for Mortenson's work.

The campaign will not stop at Orientation, but the drive continues through Family Weekend, November 6-8. At that time, the students and their families will be able to see how one penny at a time can generate a life changing experience for others.

Offices interested in participating can obtain a jar and information by contacting Kraus at 216.368.8827 or kate.kraus@case.edu.

Copies of Three Cups of Tea are also available for checkout at the Kelvin Smith Library. Go online for more details about the Common Reading program and essay contest.

Pennies for Peace jar locations include:

  • Educational Services for Students
  • University Counseling Services
  • Career Center
  • Sears Walk-In Center
  • Undergraduate Studies
  • Office of Financial Aid
  • Office of Student Employment
  • Student Affairs
  • Student Activities and Leadership
  • Housing, Residence Life and Greek Life
  • Flora Stone Mather Center for Women
  • Interfaith Center
  • Campus Bookstore
  • Office of Multicultural Affairs
  • Center for Civic Engagement and Learning

For more information contact Susan Griffith, 216.368.1004.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, July 13, 2009 02:36 PM | News Topics: Campus Life, Collaborations/Partnerships, Community Outreach, Faculty, Staff, Students, news

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