Students will have the chance to donate leftover Bean Bucks during finals week to help aid Love and Care Ministries.
Students will be able to buy non-perishables from the Campus Store with their Bean Bucks and place them in donation buckets in the Campus Center throughout finals week. At the end of finals week, the donations will be taken to the local nonprofit.
Julie Brinkman, junior vocal music education major from McKinney, and Janessa Beach, junior math education major from Van Alstyne, thought of donating leftover Bean Bucks to help others when they were freshmen. The two are founders of ACU For the Least of These.
“[Janessa] had an older brother who came here and he would say a lot of people would just go buy as much candy and soda, just anything they could so they could use the money,” Brinkman said. “So we were like, ‘what if we could use that money elsewhere?’ So that’s where the idea for ACU For the Least of These was created.”
During their freshman year, Brinkman and Beach gave students the opportunity to donate any amount of Bean Bucks they chose, which then went to buying Chick-fil-A sandwiches, chips, water and cookies for the Love and Care Ministries food truck. Love and Care Ministries distributed the sack lunches to the homeless community of Abilene.
“It was really successful,” Brinkman said. “People wanted to do it again.”
Students were able to donate $1,700 worth of food, create 100 sack lunches and even stock the shelves of Love and Care Ministries.
Last year, the Bean Bucks donation didn’t work out as planned, Brinkman said.
“After students donated last year, ARAMARK was to return the funds to us as we had agreed before. That still has not occurred,” Beach said.
However, they still plan to do it this year. Love and Care Ministries especially needs help stocking the food pantry, Brinkman said.
“Last I heard, a lot of their food pantry has been really bare this year,” Brinkman said. “So we are hoping to donate food as well as water. With the summer coming up, that’s one of the biggest needs that they have is having water they can pass out to the homeless every day.”
Brinkman said this is a way to bless those who are less fortunate.
“It’s one of those things where it’s like, we have it, we aren’t going to use it and so might as well use it to benefit others and bless others,” she said. “Because we have been blessed with so much here at ACU and in the community. It’s our time now to go and share that with others.”
Students can find ACU For the Least of These on Facebook for more details.