Aquinas students exceed giving goal

    Marketing lesson around ’Giving Tuesday’ helps Aquinas accumulate $80,000 worth of donations for Mel Trotter
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    Aquinas students gathered to move donated items into a Mel Trotter truck parked in front of the Academic Building on Wednesday, November 30. Aquinas courtesy photos

    Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 with the simple idea of encouraging people to do good. This message was not lost on Aquinas College students who recently collected more than $80,000 worth of goods in connection with Giving Tuesday to donate to Mel Trotter Ministries.

    The students more than exceeded their stated goal, which was to collect $30,000 worth of clothes and hygiene products for Mel Trotter, the downtown mission that caters to the city’s homeless population. 

    The effort was initiated by professor Mark O’Toole, the chair of the Aquinas Business Administration Department, who has encouraged his classes for the past three years to help those in need. The project served as an opportunity for students to develop their marketing skills by applying what they have learned in class to a real-life situation.

    As part of experiential classroom learning, the students tested and tracked various marketing strategies to increase their donations and promoted the project on different social media platforms to find out which methods and platforms are the most effective.

    Olivia Sebright, a Sophomore Majoring in communications read on the Mel Trotter website that medicines and toothbrushes were some highly needed items and reached out to Perrigo Foundation, which supports programs that enhance the health, well-being and education of individuals and communities worldwide.

    Sebright obtained the application forms and filled them out. Three weeks later, along with the help of her parents, Sebright collected the products from Perrigo: toothbrushes, toothpaste, cold, allergy and other medicine, for a total of $15,560 in goods! 

    Other students involved in the program acquired further donations such as winter coats, professional attire, shoes, and bedding by going door-to-door throughout the local community asking for donations. 

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