Aug 22, 2019

Students give back during Vintage Days

Dean of Student Affairs Paul Oliaro (left) and the Vintage Days staff performed the “YMCA” dance during opening ceremonies yesterday in The Pit. Booths open up today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ryan Tubongbanua / The Collegian

Vintage Days may be jam packed with crowds consuming sweets and participating in activities, but a few booths at the festival will be inviting people to give a little something back.

The Central California Blood Center will be conducting a blood drive near Shaw and Maple avenues over the weekend, while the Community Food Bank will have bins distributed around campus in which people can donate non-perishable food items.

Eleven students from the nursing program and a number of volunteers from other programs will be promoting the blood drive, which will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For students like Allie Penner, a graduate nursing major, their effort in the blood drive may work toward their senior projects, but it is also something they feel strongly about.

“Our main goal is to educate students, because in the summer, there are no students around to give,” said Penner, who believes that blood drives on campus could inspire students to give on their own, even when school is not in session.

During the semester, these nursing students have been visiting various classrooms to explain the need for people to give blood. At Vintage Days, they will be providing information and materials to passersby and offering free T-shirts and face painting to donators.

Second time donators will get a free Cinnabon, while third time donators will be given tickets to a show by the comedy group, The Knuckle Drivers.

According to Penner, one only has to look at the statistics to see the immense need in these current times.

“Someone needs blood every two seconds,” Penner said. “One pint can save up to three people.”

The Community Food Bank will be accepting a different kind of donation. Non-perishable food items such as canned goods and pasta are preferred.

Although bins will be set up around campus for people to leave food in, there will be a main booth for people to visit during Vintage Days. Those interested should look for the streaming balloons just above it.

As part of her non-profit management course, Kalene Oken, a junior majoring in business management, will be volunteering at the booth on Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This will be one of many times that students in the management 133 class have volunteered on behalf of the Community Food Bank.

“[The class] has kind of opened everyone’s eyes to what non-profit organizations are so we can see that they are manageable,” Oken said.

The Community Food Bank receives donations from events like Vintage Days as well as from food producers, retailers and many other sources. In Fresno County, the food bank manages the Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP), a federally funded program that provides emergency food for low-income citizens and works with more than 170 agencies to meet its goals.

The food collected from donations will be turned over to emergency food providers like soup kitchens, food pantries and emergency shelters serving short term residents. A portion of it may also be used to supply day care facilities and after school programs for kids.

Dana Wilkie, president and CEO of the Community Food Bank in Fresno said that they have worked closely with Fresno State in the past in the effort to alleviate hunger in the Central Valley. She mentioned the Management Department and the American Humanics Certificate Program as having some of the strongest ties to the organization.

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