Broward students help orphanage
Jennifer Beardslee Radi
Several organizations on Broward College’s South Campus teamed up to raise money for the Sunflower Orphan Center (SOC).
SOC is an orphanage in Cambodia that supports children living with HIV/AIDS. The center was brought to the attention of BC by Ari Sernik, a BC student who volunteered his time at the center while he visited Cambodia.
Using Valentine’s Day as a theme, the African American Student Union (ASU), Caribbean Student Association (CSA), Student Government Association (SGA), ASPIRA, and Student Life were able to help Sernik raise money for the Center.
Each organization did something different to raise money throughout the week of Valentine’s Day.
SGA hosted a Balloon Pop game that brought in over a $100 while CSA sold raffle tickets for a stuffed animal and a Valentine’s Day gift basket.
ASU and Student Life utilized donation jars to bring in funds. Members of ASPIRA made donations as well.
Sabienta Jean Baptiste, Senator of Community Service for South Campus SGA, helped with the Balloon pop event.
“Once people knew where the money was going , they just donated,” said Jean Baptiste.
They weren’t just paying to play the game, even when they didn’t win, they still donated to the cause.
“It wasn’t a problem for them to put in that extra $1, $2, or even $5,” said Jean Baptiste.
Jean Baptiste was inspired by Sernik’s motivation, and the fact that “he didn’t stop” and that he is still going, still fighting for this cause that he had first mentioned to her semesters prior.
While raising awareness and funds for The Sunflower Orphan Center seems to be the goal, it isn’t the only objective of this effort.
Sernik wishes to inspire students to “help other orphanages, help other causes.”
The experience at the orphanage changed his life and he hopes that other students get out of their comfort zone and have the chance to grow and experience the joy of helping the less fortunate.
Sernik’s mission, as he expressed, is to work with the college in developing a program where BC students can go to places like Cambodia and volunteer.
Not a typical study abroad, but more of a “Vacation with a purpose,” said Sernik.
He has already met with David Moore, AVP, International Education and Academic Affairs to talk about the Center and is hoping to meet with others at BC.
Sernik wants to collaborate with other students, organizations and work with the other campuses.
He is completely open to any suggestions or ideas.
If you have any fundraising ideas or want more information you can contact Sernik at 786-200-2523.