International Service Projects. Whether you’re new to California Baptist University or you’re a graduating senior, chances are you know all about ISP. With the vigorous application process, the anticipation of knowing where you’re heading and the months of preparation, ISP is a lot of work and a lot of fun. Among the preceding steps, there is also one that at times, isn’t as fun as the rest: fund raising.
ISP serves as a way for students to live their purpose, a coined phrase at the university to fulfill the great commission instructed by Christ, to bring the good news to all nations. Another is that students are urged to go green. Which has no meaning towards the environment, but it means to mesh two cultures. Like yellow and blue mixing to become green.
During the summer of 2010 the Office of Mobilization was proud to announce the departure of 48 teams to serve all over the globe, the biggest growth the program has ever seen.
The theme of the program this year is to “yield”, yield to Christ’s calling. And the verse to go along with that is Luke 9:23-25.
On average, the final cost of an ISP trip for students comes out to be a whopping $3,400, so of course, most students end up having to fund raise to afford the trip. Along with the common ways of fund raising, such as support letters, car washes and bake sales, CBU students have come up with more creative and original ways to raise money for their trip.
Courtney Watson, the administrative secretary for the office of mobilization, has been involved with the ISP program for four years has come up with interesting ways to fund raise for herself, once she said she collected old cell phones to recycle and raise money.
For another trip she said, “Whenever I spent money on fast food, I would match whatever I spent on fast food to my ISP funds. Which helped me raise money and stop eating out so much.”
Last year, an ISP team volunteered to bus tables at CBU’s annual Mother’s day brunch for tips, which raised quite a bit of money for them. Another idea that teams this year are doing is decorating jars to give to their friends and family to collect their spare change in for the duration of the spring semester and will receive the money before they leave.
Erin Wood, who is the financial coordinator for the office of mobilization said that her biggest advice to students who are trying to raise money is to “pray, pray, pray” and to always think of ideas as a team, because putting your head together with a group of people will come up with many more ideas because of the different ways of thinking.
Another thing that Wood said teams have done in the past is clean apartments at the end of the semester when residents are moving out, sometimes people don’t want to have to do the deep cleaning when they leave, so ISP teams are right there ready to do it for them, for a small fee of course.
With problems in the economy, a lot of people are suffering and barely squeaking by, so ISP fundraising can be a little tricky, but with the creative new ways students are brainstorming, hopefully things will be a little bit easier this year.