A group of students from the Odette School of Business took their studies outside the classroom in an effort to help some of the areas less fortunate.
On Nov. 8 two sections of Prof. Kent Walker’s business ethics course presented a cheque for almost $3,000 to the Downtown Mission — the fruits of a class project that had them raise funds and awareness of their role in the community.
The money will be used to create welcome packages that include food, toiletries and cleaning products for new homeowners helped by the mission.
Walker said students in the course focus on the “triple bottom line” of the economy, environment and society.
“The course theme is connection and this is a real way for students to connect with their community,” he explained. “We study society and we see how it’s going, which isn’t very pretty, but then we challenge them to do something about it.”
The students took that challenge to heart. After being divided into teams of 10 they organized their own fundraisers which included everything from a bubble soccer tournament to bake sales.
Third-year student Curtis LaButte said his group teamed up with Scarehouse Windsor. Students sold tickets with a portion of the price going towards supporting the mission — a win-win for local business and the less fortunate.
“A lot of us students that are able to go to university don’t necessarily use the services from the downtown mission, but it’s important to see that side of life,” he said. “I think this gives us a different perspective outside of school and shows us what’s going on in our community.”
The 20-year-old described the welcome packages as a bit like gifts at a wedding.
“It’s like getting married,” he explained. “You need a bit of help getting started so having this extra stuff pushes them through the rough patch at the beginning.”
Vanessa Colarossi said her team sold baked goods and collected donations from family, friends and local businesses.
The 20-year-old said she knows people who use the mission and was happy to be helping out as part of her course.
“I think it’s amazing and important for us to experience this first-hand instead of being behind books and just staring at PowerPoint presentations,” she said.
Walker said the amount of money raised caught him by surprise and added it sends a message to those critical of millennials.
“Sometimes I feel like this generation can get ragged on and people say they have a sense of entitlement, but this is a demonstration that isn’t true.”