Emma Schweigert, Student Cafe Executive Officer (SCEO) of Saxbys at La Salle University
What’re 3 organizations or causes people should know about in 2019?
If you look at philanthropy as social currency - contributing not only dollars but your time and talent, how have you made philanthropy a part of your everyday life?
My position helming Saxbys exclusively student-run cafe at La Salle University actually helped me integrate philanthropy into my everyday life. Every night at Saxbys we bag our unsold pastries and bagels, place them in the freezer, and put them aside to be donated to Face to Face Germantown every Friday. Face to Face Germantown provides meals and a health center, as well as legal and social services. I also recently made a connection with a student at LaSalle who is a part of Rock Ministries in Kensington, where they allow kids to workout at their gym after school--for free. Our food donations here bagels provide these t students with meals outside of school, and also help support a woman’s breakfast they have once a week.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to make a difference, but isn’t sure where to start?
Make connections and broaden your network! The more people you talk to, the more you can find ways to help. Throughout this year, I have made more connections with on-campus and off-campus organizations than I had my previous three years of college. Start talking to more people and see how you can get involved with different causes about which they are passionate. Their passions might relate to your life or peak your interest. Another piece of advice, don’t look too far. There are a lot of opportunities close to you and it’s more rewarding to serve the community in which you live. All of the organizations that I have worked with, through either Saxbys or my softball team (Team Up Philly, Face to Face, Rock Ministries, LaSalle student organizations) are right here in Philly and very close to LaSalle. Even the smallest acts of philanthropy do not go unnoticed.
What is something people might not know about the cause you’re devoted to?
Food insecurity is a real and current issue in Philadelphia. It is also an issue for students at of all ages. Most people think of food insecurity affecting K-12 students and Team Up Philly does a great job of serving that population. College students are often overlooked in this discussion. Providing support to local university food pantries is a great way to make a difference. This October, Saxbys ran a Pay as You Wish day at LaSalle. We raised about $2,900 for the LaSalle food pantry and crisis center, The Basket, which was matched by Saxbys to make a total donation of $5,800; this will make a substantial impact on that organization and the students they serve.