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SIFE Fundraising Efforts Result in Niger Food Bank

By Rachel Judy | March 8, 2011

Angela Cruciano, Manager, International Health Programs (OBI); Justin Taylor, President of SIFE, and Connie Tynes; SIFE Niger Food Bank Project Manager

In 2009, Regent University's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team launched a major hunger relief initiative in partnership with Operation Blessing International (OBI). On Thursday,
March 3, Regent's SIFE team received a certificate of recognition from OBI acknowledging their success in the "Change the World, Change Niger" campaign. The presentation was made during the International Networking Week event sponsored by BNI at the Doubletree Hotel in Virginia Beach, Va. BNI is a business networking and referral group that also played an active role in SIFE's fundraising, contributing over $4,400 to the food bank project.

"Change the World, Change Niger" launched in the fall of 2009 as a part of the Campbell's Soup "Let's Can Hunger" campaign. Regent's team was one of just three SIFE teams awarded seed money to implement this type of program.

Regent's University Library had a book sale and contributed $1,500 toward the goal. In 2010, other campus-wide fundraisers collected $2,500. Members of the Regent community were encouraged to donate their daily lunch change to raise $6,000 to establish one food bank in Niger. Now, more than a year later, Regent's SIFE team is working to collect the last $1,700 towards the completion of a second food bank.

Donations will fund construction of a new building that will be stocked with grain and other dry food products from the local farmers' crops that will be distributed to families in the community during Niger's "lean" season.

"Successfully raising funds for two food banks in Niger brings slogans like Regent's Christian Leadership to Change the World to life. Students suddenly discover they really can impact someone's life for the better," explained Dr. Greg Stone, professor in the School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship and faculty advisor for SIFE. "The partnership with OBI has been tremendously important. OBI and SIFE got twice as much done using each other's strengths than would have been accomplished working separately."

"Change the World, Change Niger," was part of a larger campaign to collect and distribute food and baby formula to people in the United States and around the world. As part of their campaign, SIFE oversaw a campus food and fundraising drive to fill an OBI Hunger Strike Force tractor trailer with food and baby formula. They also implemented a corporate initiative to inspire Hampton Roads corporations and their employees to fill their own OBI Hunger Strike Force trailer or purchase a Campbell's Soup Company tractor trailer load of soup for distribution throughout the United States.


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