Tufts Dining Services and the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate will tonight host their biannual Cause Dinner in support of this year’s selected organization, Tufts Timmy Global Health.
To participate, students will donate a meal swipe in Carmichael Dining Center or Dewick MacPhie Dining Center by writing their name and ID number on lists held by Tufts Timmy student volunteers, according to Director of Dining and Business Services Patti Klos. A portion of these diners’ funds will then be contributed to the organization.
Tufts Timmy President Alejandra Garcia-Pletsch explained that the organization works to address international health disparities on a global level, while advocating and educating on a local level.
“For the past seven years Tufts Timmy Global Health has set up clinics [and] pharmacies and provided care for impoverished, indigenous communities in Guatemala during its annual medical brigades,” Garcia-Pletsch, a senior, wrote in the Cause Dinner application form submitted last week to TCU Senate.
Garcia-Pletsch said that the Tufts chapter of Timmy Global Health also makes strong efforts toward public health initiatives, including the creation of informative short public service announcement videos translated into the local dialects.
“We are also trying to start a soap-making project using Guatemala-based materials,” she said. “This would become a microfinance type of project to promote hand-washing.”
Janna Karatas, co-chair of the TCU Services Committee, said that the committee selected Tufts Timmy for the Cause Dinner out of 17 applicants.
“An email is sent to all of the signatories of recognized groups on campus asking for applications to receive the funds raised during a Cause Dinner,” she said. “Our group then meets and reads the applications and chooses which cause we would like to benefit.”
Karatas, a junior, noted that Tufts Timmy stood out from the other applicants because it provided a very tangible description of where the money would go.
“Tufts Timmy described in their application that $100 would provide an antiparasitic for 120 patients,” she said. “It was great that they were so specific.”
According to Karatas, Cause Dinners typically raise between $2,000 and $3,000.
Tufts Timmy is aiming to raise at least $10,000 overall this year, according to Garcia-Pletsch. The organization hopes that funds from the Cause Dinner will contribute at least $2,000 toward that goal.
“The funds from the Cause Dinner would prove to be instrumental in supporting our efforts to improve the quality of health in the communities we serve,” she said. “By receiving funds from the cause dinner, we would also help empower Tufts students to assist patients involved in international health disparities. This could help inspire any future career goals the students may have in global health or clinical medicine, supplementing their education with first-hand experience.”
Klos explained that Dining Services purposely allows TCU Services Committee choose the organization.
“We think this is an appropriate way for peers to determine who receives the money raised from a Cause Dinner,” she said. “With that being said, we do give TCU Senate some parameters — the organization must be service-oriented, and we hope that at least one of the two Cause Dinners that take place annually raises money for something hunger or water related.”
According to Garcia-Pletsch, a member of Tufts Timmy for three years, the organization has applied to receive funds from the Cause Dinner in previous years, but until now had not been selected.
Klos said that Tufts Timmy will have designated tables in both Carmichael and Dewick MacPhie, where student volunteers will solicit their peers to write their name and ID number down to indicate they are donating a meal.
“If a student participates while on a full meal plan, it doesn’t mean a whole lot because they have multiple accesses to a dining hall each meal period,” she said. “For those students who are not on unlimited meal plan, we indicate on their meal plan that a swipe has been deducted as a result of a Cause Dinner.”
Tufts Timmy will continue fundraising throughout the year, and the group will host a pizza sale after the second Senior Night this Thursday from 12:30 – 2 a.m. on Mayer Campus Center’s lower patio.
Karatas added that the TCU Services Committee next semester will select another student organization to benefit from the Cause Dinner, and the biannual event usually alternates between benefiting local and global causes.