What if the simple act of exchanging your lunch money for a PB&J could help a child in need? Student members of the Wesley Foundation at Oklahoma State University have embraced that idea with the PB&J Project. According to the project manager and OSU freshman Averie Hinchey, “the Wesley Foundation is a Methodist college campus group that consists of different programs that assist different people.” Their motto is, “Living Simply, So Others Can Simply Live.”
The PB&J Project originated at OSU about four years ago after a student discovered the same type of program at Texas A&M University and thought it would be great to implement it. They first raised money, then the Human Sciences department along with some students at OSU took trips to Kenya and had a connection which resulted to helping orphans at Africa Hope Centre located in Nairobi, Kenya. Their main goal was to raise awareness of the less fortunate children and assist in any way possible.
Africa Hope Centre is an orphanage that houses over 100 kids who are affected and infected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. The center provides education, counselling, uniforms, food and healthcare among other resources to the orphans.
“The project is modeled whereby every Tuesday, volunteers make sandwiches with supplies donated by the students and then on Wednesday, they encourage students to give some monetary donations in exchange for the PB&J sandwich based on how much one would spend for their lunch”, says Averie. “There is no set price so that anyone interested can give however much they feel they want to donate.” She further stated that on a good day, they have made $100 from only two loaves of breads which makes about 22 sandwiches. All proceeds go to the orphanage. On average they make $60-$100 in donations on the days they sell the sandwiches.
She also shared that the Wesley Foundation members have not been to Kenya though they are planning a trip this summer. They currently do not have sponsors though they would love to reach out to many people and partner towards this good cause.
Donations and volunteers help make it happen
Based on her overall experience as project manager Averie stated, “I love how people sacrifice and show interest and generosity in donating supplies, making sandwiches whole heartedly and actually purchasing a PB&J sandwich.” She further states that even in bad weather, volunteers are still passionate about the cause and do whatever it takes to still take the donations. Some people actually do not purchase a sandwich and simply donate.
OSU’s PB&J Project boasts of great volunteers and students. They are working on new ideas to reach out to more people in order to change the lives of these children and put smiles on their faces.
If you are interested in donating to support the orphanage that OSU’s project benefits, please visit Africa Hope Centre and help these kids simply live.