'Cupid's Contributions'

GV Writing Center raises funds for campus food pantry

By Ashlyn Korienek | 2/15/17 11:23pm

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GVL/Mackenzie Bush - Melanie Rabine-Johnson and Patrick Johnson sell Valentines to raise money for the Women’s Center, Monday Feb. 13, 2017.

by Mackenzie Bush / Grand Valley Lanthorn

For some,  buying for Valentine’s Day is a breeze and often involves a bouquet of flowers or store bought card for $4.99 covered in hearts and glitter. However, other students or faculty at Grand Valley State University might have procrastinated in the gift department.

With this in mind, the GVSU Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors hosted the third annual “Cupid’s Contributions” event Monday, Feb. 13 and Tuesday, Feb. 14, as funds contributed to the food pantry “Replenish,” which is sponsored by the Women’s Center.

The Writing Center’s staff spent the semester preparing for the event, creating custom-made cards selling for 50 cents, $1 for larger cards and $2 for a message or drawing created on-the-spot.

Although set prices were enacted, the center accepted donations of any amount from bypassing students, faculty and staff.

“Replenish has remained one of our favorite GVSU charities, we all embrace the efforts of the Women's Center,” said Patrick Johnson, director of the Writing Center. “Even though we don’t contribute a lot of money, it's just a little bit of time and love. I think that from our point of view, we want to continue the good work.”

The fundraiser began as a casual agreement between Johnson and the former Writing Center director Ellen Schendel, who noticed a similar event by Ball State University. Johnson said the idea was formulated in 24 hours and took off, as around $150 was raised in its first year.

“She sent me a note and said 'this looks like fun',” he said. “About 24 hours later, I put the program together and we did it ourselves. We spent time making red hearts and gluing them onto paper, and just sort of tried it out. It was phenomenally successful.”

Melanie Rabine-Johnson, coordinator for the Writing Center, said the effort functions as a way for student workers to bond, relax and make crafts together.

“We had our staff making Valentine's Day cards during the entire semester,” Rabine-Johnson said. “On their downtime they will get together, get crafty and make cards for us. But we have also been making them on the spot, too.”

As for future growth, Johnson said the purpose of the fundraiser is simply to contribute and promote a cause it finds progressive, and also to advertise the services of the Writing Center. Currently, there are no plans to expand the fundraiser.

“The expectation of a certain amount of money would lead to disappointment, so a lot of ways we have not had the instinct to grow as much as possible,” he said. “Our idea was we wanted to raise awareness of our services and the Women's Center, as well as do something nice.”

Later on in the semester, the center will host its annual “Night Against Procrastination” Thursday, March 16, where students can gather and work on projects as an all-night-long effort. The event will take place from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., as consultants will be available to help students.

“People come to work on projects and papers due at the end of the semester, and we fill the space with fun brain games, food or go on midnight walks.”

These events, Johnson said, act as a chance for students to work alongside other like-minded people and receive feedback on their writing or projects.

For more information on the Writing Center’s services, visit www.gvsu.edu/wc/.

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