Students are invited to gather around fire pits, roast s’mores and raise money for a good cause Tuesday night at Residence Life’s S’More Giving event.
Erin Slater, director of Heritage Residence Complex, said she “inherited” the Union tradition from residence directors before her. Residence advisers lead their buildings in a competition to raise the most money for RIFA, Regional Inter-Faith Association, she said. Then, while students make s’mores, their residence advisers count up the change and award a prize to the students who have raised the most funds.
RIFA then uses the money to provide Thanksgiving meals for Jackson residents who otherwise could not afford them, Slater said. She said students have raised more than $1,000 each year so far, but her goal is to reach $1,500, which would buy 50 meals for RIFA.
“I know that they really count on it, too,” Slater said. She said the organization called her last year to ask if she planned to continue the tradition.
“It’s good to know that it’s a real need,” Slater said. “It’s good to give back to the community. I think it really shows something about the character of our students.”
It can be easy to take home, family and food for granted around the holidays, Slater said. She encourages students to “get outside of yourself and to serve others,” she said. “It’s about thinking of others and sacrificing even in a small way, but it also builds community.”
Jennifer Tingley, sophomore athletic training major and residence adviser of Wright, said she gave her girls cups to collect their “seemingly worthless” spare change.
“I encouraged them to participate because it’s a great way to serve a local community well,” Tingley said. “If everyone gives a little, it can make a big difference.”
Although S’More Giving is technically a Heritage event, upperclassmen are welcome, Slater said. She said there will be jars set up for last-minute donations.
S’More Giving will take place from 8 to 11 p.m. Nov. 11 outside the McAfee Commons.