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Mission trips compete to raise funds

The Paris mission trip team is in the middle of fundraising for their January 2015 trip. (Photo provided)

The Paris mission trip team is in the middle of fundraising for their January 2015 trip. (Photo provided)

Several students are in the midst of mission trip fundraising, often competing with other teams fundraising ideas.

Senior Zach Shultz, leader of the Belize Jterm mission trip, said he doesn’t like how the fundraising between teams is seen as a “competition.”

“There are a lot of mission trips this year, and it is very evident because of the fundraising that happens,” he said. “Each leader of every team puts their neck on the line for all of their team members because they are insanely passionate about the work they will be doing.”

Shultz said the he made sure to set up all of the [Belize] team fundraisers off-campus to stay as far away from the “competition” as possible.

“I have not really felt much pressure to have creative fundraising ideas,” Shultz said, “but I have felt the pressure to have successful ones.”

Shultz said the Belize team has had a couple of successful fundraisers thus far and plans to have similar ones in the future.

“I think the most important thing is to ask people who care about missions,” he said, “and ask people who care about you or the team members to support your team.”

For sophomore Anna-Kay Levy, a resident of Jamaica, raising money is different. Because she does not have family or friends in the United States. She will be going on the India Jterm trip in Jan. 2015.

“Asking people back home is kind of hard too because it would cost them to send me the money here,” she said. “There are persons here who I’m close to, but I’m not as close to them where I feel comfortable saying ‘Hey I need money for this do you mind helping me out’ kind of thing.”

Levy said when fundraising, you have to do something that will catch someone’s eye and make them want to participate.

“I think the pressure is getting those [fundraisers] done in time,” she said. Our [India] team aim is to get our fundraisers organized really well and not clash with someone else’s fundraisers.”

The fundraisers are not about trying to top other teams but making sure the events are appropriate and effective, Levy said.

“It burdens certain people because we’re all students here,” she said. “We’re having to decide which [trip] you’re going to give [money] to.”

Senior Caitlin Trainer, trip leader of the Paris team, said the only time she’s felt the sense of competition was during Homecoming weekend, where everyone was trying to get the attention of alumni. Trainer said she feels pressure to come up with something “awesome” for a fundraising idea.

“As long as everyone does different fundraisers,” she said, “I’m O.K. with the fact that everyone’s trying to raise money to serve Jesus.”

The Paris team will have to raise the money in the shortest amount of time compared to the other trips, Trainer said.

“Our Paris trip was the last one to announce itself on campus,” she said, “so in some sense, I feel like we’re struggling to catch up with the rest of the teams that started fundraising last spring.”

While some students may be targeting people on campus for fundraising, Trainer said many students on her team are funded by their home churches.

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