Sixteen student groups from The University of Texas-Pan American donated more than 3,500 items in two days for the Su Casa De Esperanza Contest.
The event, held Nov. 17 and 18, encouraged student groups to make donations of baby items, clothes, blankets, toys and food to benefit Su Casa de Esperanza, a local charity. The groups with the most donations won cash prizes.
"I honestly didn't expect so much to be donated," said Dawne Hill, student development coordinator. "But it's exactly what we wanted because it helps Su Casa."
This year's first place winner of $200 was the United Methodist Student Movement, which compiled 1,489 points in donations; second place and $100 went to the Bronc Pre-Pharmacy Association with 1,341 points.
Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity won $50 for third place with 1,110 points. Other organizations participating were the Sociology Club, Kappa Alpha Tau, Pre-Medical/Bio-Medical Society, Phi Theta Kappa, U.T.C.A.R.E.S., Real Sociedad, F.C., NSSLHA, Golden Key International, Young Democrats, Pre-Dental Society, ALEGRE, Delta Zeta Sorority and the French Club.
Su Casa is a nonprofit center in Pharr that aids colonia residents in Las Milpas and Progreso by providing goods and services. Its vision is "to impact the spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, economical and social well being of families in South Texas colonias, nearly all of whom live in extreme poverty."
The center offers infant development workshops, parent trainings, after-school programs and literacy classes. Su Casa also provides an excellent place for student volunteer opportunities in the future.
The center was chosen as the focus charity because its small size and proximity makes it possible for student group donations to make a strong and immediate impact.