Collecting for a Cause: Service Learning Supports Local Ronald McDonald House

Posted by on March 19, 2014

Jessica poses with some of the staff at the Ronald McDonald House

Jessica Auger, a Minnesota School of Business-Online (MSB) student, was recently tasked with an assignment that required her to get out in her community and volunteer, but what she did next took the project to a whole new level.

If you’re a current student, you’re probably familiar with the requirements of the service learning project, but if you haven’t taken a course with the project requirement in it yet, you may want to take a note out of Jessica’s book.

As a part of instructor James Walsh’s Customer Service Strategies class, the business administration student got to work early in the quarter to find the right fit for her project. After a few days, Jessica determined she would start a collection drive to support her local Minneapolis Ronald McDonald House.

“I took what I have learned here at MSB and put my education to work,” Jessica said. “Marketing was a big part of this project. I learned in one of my marketing courses that incentives can always get you a step ahead of the game.”

So, Jessica used some of her networking and graphic design skills to work with the Minnesota School of Business-Richfield campus to help promote her collection drive among students and staff at the campus. Eventually, Jessica was able to work out a deal to raffle off a $25 gift card for people who chose to donate to her cause.

In an effort to drum up some more donations, Jessica decided to work with the Online division Director of Career Services Lesley Farnham.

Jessica and Lesley show off the donated items they helped collect for Ronald McDonald House

“I had mentioned to her a couple days back that I was kind of bumming out because I was really hoping for this to be a huge success, but the amount of items we currently had weren’t as much as I had hoped.” Lesley put the note out to her Woodlake Girl Scouts, and the project became a new beast.

“When Lesley brought in the all the donations, I was overjoyed! I couldn’t believe how many items there were. It was at that moment that I caught myself getting a little emotional seeing all the donations that she had brought in,” Jessica said. “It was amazing to see that I had support even where I would have never expected it to come from. That was probably the most emotional part of this service learning project for me.”

When it was all said and done, Jessica estimates that she received approximately $300-400 dollars of donation items. With the help of students and staff in Richfield, the Online staff, the Woodlake Girl Scout troop, and some personal friends, Jessica made the accommodations at the Minneapolis Ronald McDonald House a little better.

“This service learning project really opened my eyes to the amount of love, care and support one individual can capture from all the people around her. This project even made me emotional at times, and that was something I never anticipated.”


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