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HPU Communication Fellows Help Nonprofit Organizations Through Experiential Learning

Dec 16th, 2022

HPU Communication Fellows Help Nonprofit Organizations Through Experiential Learning

HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 16, 2022 – High Point University’s Communication Fellows dedicated their fall colloquium in Dr. Arden Anderson’s class to designing and implementing events that benefit nonprofit organizations. In total, the students raised nearly $2,500 to support the organizations.

Students split up into four groups for the semester-long project that provided them with hands-on learning by creating a fundraising event and partnering closely with their chosen organization. The four organizations benefitting from the students’ efforts include Purple Heart Homes, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Piedmont and Open Door Ministries.

“It is exciting to see the students in this course further develop their teamwork, problem-solving and creativity skills through this semester-long project,” said Anderson, assistant professor of sport management. “Yet, the true reward is seeing the ways in which they thoughtfully and passionately give back to the community through their events.”

Anderson says students are responsible for all aspects of the event, including generating the event idea, assessing the need for the event, planning the marketing, promotion, finance and logistics, running the event and giving a final presentation on its success.

Below are the four different groups in Anderson’s class:


Purple Supporting Purple raised nearly $1,500 to support Purple Heart Homes, which provides housing solutions for disabled and aging veterans. Students participating in this group coordinated with HPU Athletics to host a table before a Men’s Basketball game where they sold original designed shirts, spins on the prize wheel and the chance to take home a handmade leather American flag.

High Point University Purple Supporting Purple campaign
Pictured is the student group who named themselves Purple Supporting Purple. From left are students Cassandra Mischak and Emma Sholly, Russell Rauch, executive board member for Purple Heart Homes, and students Christina Falcone and Liz Doyle.

Liz Doyle, a junior sport management major, was the team leader for this group. She says that hosting this event and supporting the organization is meaningful to her as someone who grew up in a military family.

“This was such an amazing experience where I gained so many valuable skills and learned to collaborate with other students to give back to an organization that works to improve the lives of so many veterans,” said Doyle, a student from Mooresville, North Carolina. “I feel as though this experience helped me grow as a sport management student because I was able to gain more experience working within different areas of our athletic department such as Panther Club, marketing and sales.”

Panther Prizes supported Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont through a silent auction at the HPU Men’s Basketball game. Students participating in this group raised money from the auctioned items as well as from donations. Auction items included a new pair of Apple AirPods, a gift basket donated by the High Point Rockers baseball team, an autographed picture donated by the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team and more.

HPU Communication Fundraisers, Panther Prizes team
In total, the student groups raised nearly $2,500 to support the organizations. From left are students Spencer Hazen, Maxwell Rattet, Danny Shay, Nick Szymanski and Jonah Alewine, who are part of the Panther Prizes group. These students raised money from the auctioned items as well as from donations.

Cookies for Children raised money and awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH). Attendees purchased a small gift bundle which included a CMNH pin, a cookie courtesy of HPU catering and bingo card. Participants played several rounds of bingo to win HPU merchandise.

Cookies for Children, $5 bingo night supporting Children's miracle network hospitals. Amount Raised and donated: $780
Students from left are Josiah Simpson, Zea Hirshberg, Emily Brassil, Madelyn Cooper and Joey Taylor, who participated in the Cookies for Children group. They created a charity event benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Junior Zea Hirshberg, a media production and entrepreneurship student, says giving back to the community aligns with her values.

“Being able to not only put together the event, but also host it, provided me with an opportunity to give back to the community and learn a bit about event management,” said Hirshberg. “It was a fantastic learning experience for myself and my group members, and we got to teach others about the organization so they can hopefully be more aware and pass on their knowledge to others.”

Thanksgiving Charity Challenge was a multi-day event benefitting Open Door Ministries in High Point. This group challenged HPU’s Greek Life to a competition between houses to see who could donate the most toiletries and canned goods. In total, this group donated more than 100 items to the organization, which provides shelter and food to those in need. This group also donated to the winning Greek organization’s philanthropic cause.

Thanksgiving Charity Challenge, by Corrina Joyner, Jae Roach, Nate Bryant. Brenden Mahla and Nicholas Kadela
The Thanksgiving Charity Challenge group created a competition with Greek Life to see who could donate the most canned goods for Open Door Ministries. From left are students Corrina Joyner, Jae Roach, Brenden Mahla, Nate Bryant and Nicholas Kadela.

Anderson’s class raised money in the spring through a similar philanthropic initiative benefitting Special Olympics North Carolina.