Christian Robillard, a third-year public affairs and policy management student, writes about the Student Philanthropy Council’s latest developments and projects.

For this past month the Student Philanthropy Council has been busy at work organizing and executing projects for this upcoming school year.  I wanted to take some time to share some experiences I have had over the past month with the wonderful team of people I have the distinct honour of working with on the Philanthropy Council.

The Student Philanthropy Council undertook their first project: A food drive in support of the CUSA Food Centre.  This service centre run, by our Carleton University Students’ Association, provides food to students who do not have the funds to pay for it in their current financial state.  This is not for students who spend too much on beer and who intentionally misspend their funds (but even then the food centre is there to support them). This service centre is for the student who’s paycheck was a bit lower; or who’s OSAP was late coming in; or who do not have access to nutritious food.  Through the efforts of the Student Philanthropy Council, our fantastic volunteers, and not to mention the Carleton and broader Ottawa community, we were able to stock the shelves of the food centre as well as send off more than 1,000 pounds of food to the Ottawa Food Bank.  A fantastic first success for the council and for Carleton.

The Council has also opened its Fundraising Initiatives Proposal Process.  Until October the 8th at 4:30pm the Student Philanthropy Council will be taking submissions for projects that students want to undertake.  The projects we are looking to undertake should have a time frame from idea, to planning, to execution of 2-4 months; be under $2,500 to execute; offer skill development opportunities for our campus community; or are projects aimed at improving teaching and learning at Carleton and the broader student experience.  I am proud to be able to support students in doing philanthropy just as many other individuals have done for me throughout my life.

For the winter semester the Student Philanthropy Council is looking to hold a development summit: Where we can bring together experts, teachers and facilitators to help empower and educate students, faculty and staff on how to better do philanthropy.  We will also be assessing what kinds of opportunities clubs, societies, students, faculty and staff are looking to expand their knowledge and expertise in when it comes to doing philanthropy better.

Most importantly, we as a council are seeking to continue, on an ongoing basis, to inspire, promote and empower students, faculty and staff to want to give to their community and be involved now.  As young people this time is key in determining our passions and how we wish to  turn that passion into action.  A friend shared a great quote with me today by the name of Melissa Joy.  It goes as follows “Having a rough morning? Place your hand over your heart. Feel that? That’s called purpose. Don’t give up.”All you need to do is to go out, harness, and realize your purpose.  I sincerely hope that everyone does along their journey in life and hope they have people to support them along the way.

Submitted by Christian Robillard, a third-year public affairs and policy management student.

To find out more about the Student Philanthropy Council, please visit the website.


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