Students and faculty in the theater department decided to help hurricane evacuees through a bake sale, held last Wednesday on Liacouras Walk.
“Who doesn’t love a cookie?” asked senior Mike Cosenza, a theater student.
Professor Donna Snow, an active member of the National Association of Theaters, had maintained contact with the faculty at Louisiana State University. She came up with the idea to donate directly to the university. “The weekend the storm happened, I e-mailed the chair about how they were doing, and after speaking with them I thought they might need money right away,” she said.
Just a few days later, over 70 volunteers were recruited to participate in the bake sale. “I didn’t know what I could do. It’s hard when you’re in the arts because we have no money” Cosenza said.
The theater department bake sale was just one of the many relief efforts launched through Temple. The campus has been actively involved in “Project Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia’s initiative to give housing to those displaced by the hurricane.
Cosenza, along with Professor Snow, originally launched the theater fundraiser with a bake sale in mind.
“When I announced the bake sale to my Theater 100 course, I just asked kids to bring in whatever they could, or to help run a table,” Snow said. “The students were so enthusiastic.”
The team of volunteers sold for hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., accepting any and all types of contributions.
“We kept selling until we were down to one stand,” Cosenza said.
Some volunteers exceeded their expectations.”Some of the kids were there for eight hours,” Snow said. Around campus many of the student reactions were the same.
“Everybody wanted to help. Most kids just came and gave us the change in their pockets,” Cosenza said.
The cause gathered support off campus as well. “I was in Staples printing out the posters, and people just handed me donations,” Cosenza said.
After working the entire day, the group was satisfied with its total. “$2,200 … it was a large bake sale. Man, that’s a lot of cookies,” Cosenza said. The final donation was closer to $2,400.
To avoid the standard bureaucratic red tape, the group of volunteers decided to send a direct check to the cause of its choice. They chose to donate to the LSU Foundation: Theatre Circle Fund.
Polly Boersig, a member of the LSU Costume Design Faculty, said she was thankful for the people who donated. “I am so astounded by the outpourings from across the nation for the state of Louisiana and its inhabitants,” Boersig said. The check will be sent to LSU later this week.
“There is something hopeful about all of this,” Snow said. “If you put something positive out there, something positive comes back.”