Fresno State's chapter of Camp Kesem, held a “Locked In On Giving” event on Nov. 28, 2017 to raise money for Giving Tuesday. Their goal was to raise $10,000 in one day. (Daniel Avalos/The Collegian)

These students lock themselves in ‘jail’ for a good reason

An earlier version of this story inaccurately described the children served by Camp Kesem as “sick.”  This story has been updated to reflect a correction.

Students were jailed for a good reason Tuesday. They participated in the “Locked In On Giving” event as part of the annual Giving Tuesday events.

The Fresno State Camp Kesem chapter sat in a mock jail cell asking students to “bail them out.”

The bailout, however, needed to come in the form of a donation to the camp, which is a national nonprofit organization for children who have a parent or guardian with cancer or who has passed away from cancer.

It is a weeklong, free program for the children attending.

During the Giving Tuesday event on campus,  Camp Kesem had a goal to raise $10,000 in 24 hours. By 7 p.m. Tuesday, Blake Zante, public relations coordinator said the group raised $7,600.

It costs about $500 to send one kid to camp.

During the fundraising campaign, which is held after Thanksgiving, Camp Kesem coordinators were locked in the mock jail cell for 30 minutes. There were incentives to raise as much funds as possible: Whichever coordinator got the least amount of donations had to sing a camp song in front of all of the students at the Speaker’s Platform.

Maya Castellanos, a junior and deaf education major at Fresno State, said the goal of Camp Kesem is to help the children of parents who have or have had cancer feel as though they can get away from their worries, have a fun camp experience and just be kids.

“[At Camp Kesem] they are surrounded by kids who have had similar experiences,” Castellanos said. “They connect on a level that most people can’t connect on.”

The organization first started 17 years ago at Stanford University. Since then, it has spread to more than 100 college chapters throughout the country.

Fresno State is the first California State University to start a Kesem chapter. This year, the Fresno State chapter hopes to gain more than 50 new campers.

This article stated that by 7 p.m. on Nov. 28, Camp Kesem raised $7,600. By midnight, the total amount raised was about $12,000.