At the end of November, the OKWU community accepted a challenge. Now it’s time to act.
After a chapel featuring Paul Hurckman, Executive Director of Venture, students were encouraged to commit to a 30 Day Challenge – run or walk one mile, every day, for a month. Each day raises $3 for people groups in Nepal vulnerable to human trafficking, in keeping with the mission of OKWU’s Orange Movement. This $3 gift, while not seeming like a lot, roughly translates to a full day of care, and at the end of the challenge, each participant will have gifted a whole month of care to a member of those vulnerable people groups.
And it’s not just about care; the challenge is designed to holistically change a student’s approach to giving by changing their lifestyle.
“The 30 Day Challenge invites students to start the semester by establishing a rhythm of life that makes space to respond to those in desperate need,” Hurckman said.
And the response around campus has been enthusiastic. Over 130 OKWU students took the challenge to run, and they’re excited to make both a change in their own lives and a difference in others.
“That’s what I mostly hope for, that it inspires others to help out and maybe even go further than just Venture.”
For Tobin Brewer, a freshman OKWU student, it was Venture’s commitment to using their funds well that convinced him to join in. “When they first came, I was a little skeptical about a company coming in or an organization coming and saying, ‘Hey! Use our app and we’ll help you make money,'” he said. “So I actually emailed them and asked them about the percentage of money that… goes to how much they keep. And they said, ‘This specific thing actually gives 100 percent to the things you want to put it towards…’ That made me really respect the mission and their motivation in general.”
Other students agree. “I feel like it’s definitely helping out. I believe that the Venture community is a good charity who… is helping save women,” Carlie Schouweiler, another freshman, said. “I think that’s amazing.”
“If I was stuck, I’d want to be saved by people who do the best they can. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Both students also pointed out the personal character benefits of committing to help others without a view towards personal gain. “I’m really not getting anything out of this other than sore legs. I think that’s a really good character exercise,” Brewer said.
It’s not too late to be involved. The challenge begins January 22. Those interested in participating can register here and join the challenge. From there, they can log miles, track donations, and see the overall team’s progress.
“As a fellow woman, I want to help out those other ladies who are not as blessed as I am and are stuck in that situation,” Schouweiler said. “If I was [stuck], I’d want to be saved by people who do the best they can. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
And that mindset of helping out doesn’t have to stop at the end of the challenge. Schouweiler hopes that this experience will convince those in the OKWU community to continue to seek out ways to provide aid to those in need.
“That’s what I mostly hope for, that it inspires others to help out and maybe even go further than just Venture,” she said.