When you think about poverty, there are certain groups that come to mind. Children, struggling families, the elderly.
But college students?
According to Project Cahir Penn State Students United Against Poverty, 10 percent of students enrolled at the University Park campus fall into the low-income category.
These aren’t kids scrambling to find beer money for a party. They are struggling with issues like not being able to buy their textbooks. For others, the needs are even more basic, like not having enough food.
And that is where Project Cahir comes in.
The group of 13 students are pitching in to help their fellow Penn Staters by raising $5,000 to help bridge the gaps. The fundraising effort runs through Tuesday.
“So many people don’t know,” said group member Natasha Bailey. “They try to keep it to themselves.”
Project Cahir, named after alum Bill Cahir who was killed in action as a Marine reservist, has already started helping where it can. The group provides toiletry items to students who can’t afford them, making them available through University Health Services.
Bailey said the idea is to not only help those in need but bring awareness about the underserved students.
“The Cahir program is a shining example of the exceptional work students in our community are engaged in. Students connected to the program work to mitigate poverty in our community,” said Joe Puzycki, assistant vice president in Student Affairs. “Among its impacts, the program provides the skills and tools needed to create change at Penn State, by empowering others to become advocates for those who cannot advocate for themselves.”
Donations are being accepted through the group’s Web page at https://pennstate.useed.net/projects/114/home.
“We just want to help more students,” said Bailey.