In an effort to raise funds for students in financial difficulty, Hospitality Concordia is soliciting donations with the help of a massive penny jar, which has been making the rounds at the Sir George Williams campus since mid-August.
Nancy Curran, event coordinator for Hospitality Concordia, says the idea for the jar came about when a friendly JMSB student suddenly stopped visiting their office. When she asked around, Curran discovered that the student had dropped out because of her financial struggles.
“We didn’t know that she was in that kind of desperate need,” Curran said. “Then we started to say, maybe there are a lot of students in the university that have these problems and aren’t speaking up.”
Curran noted that the project has generated a great deal of community enthusiasm. Many departments and businesses around campus have been supporting the penny jar, which is already over half full.
Last Thursday, however, when the jar sat in the EV building for two hours, few students seemed to notice it.
Antonietta Martuccio, a compensation assistant in the human relations department who was at the nearby Shuffle table, said that the crate in which the jar had been placed is probably to blame: “Today they don’t really see it, because I find the box is covering up the pennies.” She added that she saw many people contribute two days earlier.
According to Laura Stanbra, director of Financial Aid and Awards, approximately 45 per cent of full-time students are eligible for financial help. Most of the $60 million distributed by the department comes from government aid, but the jar is just another method of raising funds.
Once the jar has been filled, raffle tickets will be sold offering people a chance to guess the amount contained in the jar, with those funds also being put toward the cause. After it has been counted, Hospitality Concordia will then sit down with the Dean of Students and determine how to invest the money.
As of yet, there is no definite plan for the funds raised.
The bottom line, Curran said, is that “everybody wants to help the students,” from the distribution department, who has the task of transporting the jug, to the owners of Treats, a restaurant in the Guy-Concordia metro.
The jar will be the in atrium of the EV building for the next little while and will continue to circulate around other buildings on campus.