Domestic abuse is a topic that has garnered significant media attention over the past year. With a staggering number of women who are suspected missing or dead as a result of domestic violence, it’s time we stand up and take notice.
So, that’s exactly what Minnesota School of Business online accounting degree student Jody Walker did. As part of Jody’s Global Citizenship course, she participated in a service and applied learning project designed to enhance students’ learning outside of the classroom.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Jody and ask her a few questions about why she chose the Help End Abuse for Life (HEAL) organization, and how her project is making a difference for the nonprofit and its accounting procedures.
What made you choose HEAL as the organization to conduct your service-learning project?
There were two reasons. First, my mother-in-law works for HEAL—she works with the residents by providing education and counseling. Second, I have seen domestic violence and the struggles women face trying to get out. My sister was abused, and with the help of a program like HEAL, she was finally able to break free!
What’s something you learned during your project that you wouldn’t have otherwise known about the break-even points for nonprofits?
Wow, I learned that sponsorship is essential! At the time that I completed the analysis, there were two items without sponsors. The food at $15 per person, which has since found a sponsor (yay!), and a gift bag item (a baseball-style cap…each participant receives one) at $8 per item – for which I am still actively trying to find a sponsor. The break even numbers are cut in half if we can find the final sponsor for this item. For a nonprofit, that’s huge!
Do you have any tips for other students getting ready to do a service learning project?
I would tell them to care about the project—invest mentally and emotionally. Think about the effects that your work will have on others and on your community.
Once your project is over do you anticipate continuing your work with this nonprofit and/or other nonprofits in your area?
Absolutely. I still am! My project is over, but the need to find that final sponsor is something I have taken on, and I will keep searching until I find one! I will complete this same analysis every time requested going forward. It was an amazing experience. HEAL has a piece of my heart, and I will be there for them. It’s also opened my eyes to the global issue of domestic violence.