Change for the Smokies raises money for wildfire survivors

Photo by Brent Walker
Students are competing to donate change this week to East Tennessee wildfire survivors. | Photo by Brent Walker

One of Union’s fraternities, Alpha Tau Omega, is leading a “change war” on campus this week to benefit the people affected by last week’s devastating wildfires in East Tennessee.

Every class and Greek organization will compete against each other to donate the most change to the families that have lost their homes and businesses in the Gatlinburg wildfires. Students can stop by ATO’s table outside of Brewer Dining Hall during lunch hours to drop off pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

“Essentially the goal of this is to raise as much money as possible to donate to [these families] through Alpha Tau Omega,” said David Kagaruki, freshman digital media communications major and member of ATO. “We’re setting it up as a competition…It just creates a thrilling environment, but in the end it’s just about raising money for Gatlinburg.”

Points will be awarded based on the change received. Pennies are worth one point, nickels are worth five points, dimes are worth 10 points and quarters are worth 25 points. Students can also “dollar bomb” other competitors by placing dollar bills in competitors’ buckets, and 100 points will be subtracted from that bucket.

The winning class or Greek organization will be decided this Thursday night after all of the points have been totaled. ATO will give the winning group $50 from their fraternity budget to donate to a philanthropy of their choice. If a class wins, the class council will decide which philanthropy the $50 will go to. However, all of the change raised by students will go directly to the wildfire survivors of East Tennessee.

Buckets will be set up on a table outside Brewer Dining Hall during lunch through this Thursday, Dec. 8.

About Brent Walker 20 Articles
Brent Walker, a member of the Union University Class of 2020, is a journalism major and the news editor for Cardinal & Cream. He loves ice cream, people, and laughter.