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Baker College of Muskegon Rotaract Club Raises $7,000 for The Hope ProjectJuly 16, 2014
Club receives international citation for its hard work
MUSKEGON, Mich. – It is a common misconception that human trafficking isn’t a U.S. problem; that it’s limited to foreign countries. However, Michigan is a source, transit and destination for trafficking. In response, members of the Baker College of Muskegon Rotaract Club worked throughout the 2013-2014 school year to raise $7,000 to help address this critical human rights issue.
Their donation went to The Hope Project, a not-for-profit organization that raises awareness of human trafficking and helps victims transition to a normal life. The Hope Project, based in Muskegon, currently works with 12 survivors of sex trafficking.
The Baker College student club is co-sponsored by the Rotary clubs of Muskegon and Montague-Whitehall.
The donation will help The Hope Project open Hope Village, a safe home in Muskegon for victims to locally begin or continue their journey of healing from the horrific trauma of being repeatedly sexually abused for profit.
The Baker College students raised the $7,000 by devoting a collective 160 volunteer hours to organizing and holding fundraisers on campus and hosting a fundraiser each at The Station Grill, Applebee’s and Five Below.
“Baker College Rotaract Club members have displayed incredible enthusiasm and dedication,” said Julia Koch, director of development and advocacy at The Hope Project. “Members raised a significant amount of money to fight human trafficking, and just as importantly, spread an indefinite amount of awareness of the issue. We cannot say thank you enough.”
Koch said that Hope Village will provide a loving environment with comprehensive services including counseling, education, case management and life skills instruction to girls, ages 11 to 18.
Raising money for The Hope Project was one of the many accomplishments Rotaract Club members achieved this past school year. In fact, the club received a citation from the president of Rotary International for its extraordinary work – a notable accomplishment for a club in its second year of existence.
“Our members truly live by our club motto, ‘Service Above Self,’” said Linda Meyers, club advisor and program director of marketing, entrepreneurship and human resources management for Baker College of Muskegon. “They willingly dedicated a great deal of time and energy to meet their fundraising goal for The Hope Project while continuing to support the other organizations that are important to them. These students are incredible role models for their peers.”
In addition to their extensive fundraising efforts for The Hope Project, the students put in more than 700 hours of volunteering during a 28-week period by participating in student mentorship programs, packing 12,000 sack suppers for Kids’ Food Basket, a charity that focuses on childhood hunger, and volunteering at local events. One Rotaractor also traveled to Honduras to install water filters for a community in need.
For information about The Hope Project, visit www.HopeProjectUSA.org. It is in need of volunteers, monetary donations and used clothing and vehicles. The organization is also registered at Target.
For information about the Baker College of Muskegon Rotaract Club, visit the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RotaractBakerCollege or contact Linda Meyers at Linda.Meyers@baker.edu or 231.777.5288.return
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