Ten local nonprofit groups received parts of $54,000 on Tuesday, courtesy of the popular Baylor University course “Philanthropy and the Public Good.”
Students presented large checks to thankful recipients in the President’s Suite at McLane Stadium.
Andy Hogue has taught the course for five semesters.
“The 10 organizations being awarded grants today are in many respects very different, serving varying ends in the social sector, enriching different segments of our community through their good work,” Hogue said. “But what unites you — in fact, what unites us — is this radical notion of hospitality. The very idea practiced and modeled to us by early Christians who set off to tell the world there is no ‘us and them.’ We are God’s, and it is incumbent upon us, a gift to us, that we’re able to share with another.”
The Cove, which offers shelter and safety to homeless Waco Independent School District youth, received the largest donation — $11,500 for a new industrial kitchen. The Cove will better provide meals to children, train children in cooking and catering, and rent the kitchen to vendors when children are not present.
“It means so much to the kids,” said Teri Holtkamp, executive director of The Cove.
The $54,000 comes from the Once Upon a Time Foundation, which partners with universities for courses like this one. Throughout the course, students meet with nonprofit groups and examine the greatest needs. They then decide how much money to give to best serve them.
Interim President David Garland pointed to a recent Wall Street Journal ranking that lists Baylor fifth nationally in student engagement.
“It is one of the most transformative classes that I think our students can have on this campus,” Garland said. “This is a classic example of how our students are engaged in the community, and I do believe that they will capture a philanthropic spirit from this program.”
Mission Waco received $6,000 for its Renewable Energy and Agriculture Project initiative. The money will help fund a greenhouse and aquaponics system next to Jubilee Food Market — its new nonprofit grocery store — and train the public on health, agriculture and stewardship.
“I love the fact that Baylor students are learning how to give,” Mission Waco Executive Director Jimmy Dorrell said. “I think a lot of the folks that come to Baylor have opportunities in the future to be donors and generous. To have to work through the process of learning how to screen, deciding what to give to and not give to, that’s a rare gift.
“From our side, the recipient side, we’re really, really blessed.”
University scholar Janessa Blythe said she was pleased to join a justice initiative outside of the classroom.
“Going through those steps, I think you learn it in a more in-depth way because you’re walking the road, as opposed to seeing bullet points on a PowerPoint,” she said.
The Cove: $11,500
Texas Hunger Initiative: $10,000
Talitha Koum Institute: $7,240
Mission Waco: $6,000
Creative Waco: $5,000
World Hunger Relief Inc.: $4,000
Cultural Arts of Waco: $2,800
LIT Waco: $2,760
Family Abuse Center: $2,500
Youth Chorus of Central Texas: $2,200