Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- February 18, 2005
Cal Poly Lecturer, Students to Raise Money for Tsunami Relief
Speech Communication Classes Learn the Value of Community
Cal Poly part-time lecturer Nina Truch couldn't imagine what she could possibly
do to contribute to the relief effort for victims of this winter's tsunami in
South Asia. So she proposed an idea to her students. The results are two March
events, organized by students, which will raise funds for a local charity to aid
tsunami disaster victims in Sri Lanka.
"The first day of winter quarter I asked them, 'How about we shred this syllabus
and do a tsunami fund-raiser instead?'" she said. "They returned the following
class with ideas about fund-raisers and possible organizations to donate to. One
student suggested that the students sell back their textbooks and use that money
to host an event. The students all agreed, so that's what we did."
The Cal Poly speech communication 102.1 class organized a 5K Tsunami Fund Run -
Community Helping Community. The 5K fun run, March 5, is open to the public and
includes a barbeque. The speech communication 102.2 class organized the Helping
Hand Poker Tournament, open to Cal Poly students only.
Truch made sure that speech assignments were integrated into the quarter's projects.
Students presented oral interpretations of stories written by writers from the
countries impacted by the tsunami. She assigned a group project in which students
gave informative speeches about countries hardest hit by the tsunami as a way to
bring those areas into focus.
"I wanted the students to learn about the people they are helping," said Truch.
Proceeds from both events will benefit VeAhavta, a local nonprofit organization
founded and directed by Eric Parkinson. VeAhavta
dedicated to providing charitable assistance to low-income, destitute and displaced
persons and to promoting peace, understanding and mutual respect among people of
different religions through education.
The students chose VeAhavta because of the organization's dedication to and
compassion for the plight of orphaned Sri Lankan children living in poverty.
Students are also fund-raising for tsunami relief individually. One student suggested
that the class sell See's candy to help raise additional money to add to the
overall donation. The student successfully organized the purchase and distribution
of the candy.
"These kids are beginning to develop a real sense of community and what it means,"
Truch said. "It's exciting when they receive a donation of a gift or money; they
want to tell everyone else about it."
"Helping to organize the Tsunami Fund Run made me more aware of both the community
of San Luis Obispo and communities around the world. I've enjoyed working with my
classmates and San Luis Obispo businesses to organize this event and am looking
forward to seeing people participate and show their support for those who were
affected by the tsunami," said Kimberly Barnett, Cal Poly liberal studies major.
For more information about these events or to become a donor or sponsor, contact
faculty advisor Nina Truch at (805) 756-5683 or firstname.lastname@example.org.