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We’ve heard about it before. Whether it is in class, on a flyer, or during Sunday mass, Hunger Cleanup is a term we are pretty familiar with.  Hunger Cleanup, which is the largest volunteer event on campus, will be holding it’s annual event on Saturday, April 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Students will meet in the LLBCC and then venture out to different underdeveloped areas in Bridgeport and Fairfield County to help clean up.

The organization was created to help people suffering from hunger and homelessness locally and nationally while educating the student body community about what they can do to help.  This year, Fairfield University’s Hunger Cleanup has a goal to recruit over 500 participants and raise $11,000.  The money will go to local non-profit agencies in the Bridgeport area to enhance educational programs in order to raise their clients’ educational level.

To reach this goal, the organization will be holding a kick off event at The Levee on March 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The event, which will be the start of volunteer recruiting on campus, will be selling Hunger Cleanup t-shirts for $10 ($15 the day of Hunger Cleanup) and giving out free ice cream to students who sign up.  The event will also be the start of their “Civil War” Fundraiser. For this fundraiser, there will be a water jug for the four most popularly represented states at Fairfield (Mass., Conn., NY and NJ) and each student will aim to have their state’s jug filled with more pennies than any other type of change or bills.  The state with the most pennies wins.  The “Civil War” fundraiser will be continuing all the way up to the day of the event along with recruiting.

Junior Taylor Callahan, one of the Fundraising Co-Chairs on the Hunger Cleanup Executive Board, loves the idea of the “Civil War” Fundraiser. “We want people to really try and get involved in the event and thought this was a fun competition for people to participate in,” she said.  On the chair with Callahan is Alessia Laise ’13, and making sure the event runs smoothly is in the hands of Steph Iannuzzo ’11 and Kim Holiver ’12. “Everyone has put a ton of work into it all,” said Callahan.

Callahan, who started participating in Hunger Cleanup her freshman year with the varsity Field Hockey team, was asked to be a part of the executive board at the end of her freshman year and has been an avid supporter of the organization ever since.

“My favorite part about Hunger Cleanup is knowing that my help now is going to benefit someone else in the long run,” she said, “It’s really rewarding and makes me want to work hard knowing that my hard work will be helping to make someone’s neighborhood look nicer, or that the money that we raise will help to create a park or buy food or supplies for people in need.”

Anne Nieuwenhuis ’11 has also participated in Hunger Cleanup with the varsity Field Hockey team.  The first year, they raked the baseball and tennis field of a Bridgeport’s Boys & Girls club and the second year they helped clean up an area in Bridgeport so the community could set up for a local farmer’s market.  Nieuwenhuis also felt as though Hunger Cleanup was not only benefiting the people they helped, but was just as rewarding for her.

“What I like about Hunger Cleanup is how you, as a group, work together to help others,” she said, “The people who you are helping are involved as well, and they really show their appreciation.”

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