University housing to support GOAL throughout year

By the time the average reader finishes this sentence, a child has already died due to hunger. In fact a child dies from hunger every five seconds. GOAL aims to stamp out such hunger around the world.

Every year, the Housing Office of the University selects a charity to fundraise for. They hold events and activities throughout the school-year to get students involved and interested in raising money for a good cause.

Created by former sports journalist John O’Shea in 1977, GOAL—which originally stood for “Go on, give a lot”— is an Irish humanitarian emergency relief organization based in 13 countries, including Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Kenya and Uganda. GOAL is unique from most of the other organizations that work in these countries in that the charity hires locals to run most of the facilities. Once a school or shelter, for example, has been created, GOAL works on training the locals so that one day they can run it and create sustainable solutions throughout communities around the country. By doing this, GOAL aims to teach beneficiaries to function without becoming overly dependent on foreign aid.

GOAL has elven primary issues it works on; They offer aid in education in areas such as crisis recovery, healthcare creation and development, community development, food distribution and education among others. Every country has different issues and the organization tailors it’s aid to the concerns of said country. In Haiti, a big issue is cholera response, while in Uganda, HIV and AIDS education, prevention and treatment are greater priorities.

Unlike its many charity counterparts, GOAL is known for exceedingly small administrational costs and as such, 95 percent of all monies raised are fed right into the countries they are working in. According to James Kelly, the head of GOAL USA, “when you donate to GOAL over 95 cents in the dollar will go directly to the projects which we are implementing across 13 countries.” The organization operates largely on funds donated from both the U.K. and U.S. governments but also receives a great number of private donations and donations from other charities like UNICEF.

The organization has only recently created an office in the U.S. It was in the New York office that Resident Advisors Katelyn James, Junior, and Cassandra Stimpson, Senior, began interning, and from that point on that the two became interested in making GOAL the housing charity for the incoming year.

According to James, “it [GOAL] came to be the housing charity after we [Stimpson and James] met last year with [then] Resident Director Erica Feldherr and GOAL USA Director James Kelly and we discussed ways that we can have GOAL as the charity for housing.” After a series of meetings and approvals, GOAL was chosen as the housing charity for the 2012-2013 academic year.

On every floor of every university residence there resides a GOAL bucket. In that bucket, students are encouraged to throw any loose change or pocket money, all of which is then donated to GOAL. Throughout the year, GOAL buckets will be seen at every housing event, encouraging students to get excited about donating.

James is perhaps the most enthusiastic about donating to GOAL: “I think it’s a worthwhile cause because it focuses on helping those most in need…[because of] both political and natural disasters. It spends most of the funds it receives on people of the world, not marketing itself.”

The money the university raises for GOAL goes directly to the organization. At the end of every month, once the money had been collected, it then goes into a TD Bank account, which then goes directly to GOAL. The housing office is really hoping for people to get involved and is offering a number of raffles and prizes as incentives for students to donate.

The newest addition to the fundraising program is penny wars. The aim of the program is to get students to simply donate pennies. Each penny in a bucket is worth one point, while each nickel is minus 5 points, each dime minus ten and so on. The goal is to be the floor with the most amount of points at the end of the program. Each resident on the floor who wins penny wars will receive additional points towards a housing bump. The more points a residents has, the better chance they will have of receiving an earlier housing registration, not to mention year-long bragging rights.

GOAL may be new to the university, but it is an organization that has been around the block for quite some time now. It has more than proven itself as a worthwhile cause and with all the incentives housing is offering this year it looks to be the be the most fruitful charity to date.