On Friday, October 30, the Millersville University chapter of Amnesty International held a fundraiser that benefitted refugees in the area. The pumpkin decorating and bake sale helped raise $127.76 that will be donated to Church World Service, a cooperative that provides help to local refugees.
Students stopped by Amnesty International’s table outside of the SMC to paint pumpkins and purchase baked goods despite the chilly weather. Bob Musser Jr., a local farmer, donated 40 pumpkins. Amnesty International’s president, Danielle Perez, was shopping for pumpkins at a Lancaster area farm when Musser Jr. offered the pumpkins free of charge. He heard that the pumpkins were being used as a fundraiser for refugees and donated them.
This donation of pumpkins helped increase the profit made by the fundraiser. Amnesty sold about 30 pumpkins. Dave Halloran, a member of Amnesty International, said the fundraiser is “helpful.”
The money is being donated to Church World Service. They have a presence in Lancaster. The cooperative helps local refugees get settled in Lancaster. “[Church World Service] is housing refugees in the area and mitigating the problems with the Syrian refugee crisis,” Halloran said.
The idea for the fundraiser came from Perez’s mind. The fundraiser reflects the organizations agenda for the year. Amnesty International discussed what they want their three topics of interest for that year. This year the three topics picked were refugees, LGBT issues and women’s rights. Also, the national chapter is focusing on the refugee crisis this year.
There is a large population of refugees in Lancaster. Around 300 refugees a year are settled in Lancaster according Church World Service. Amnesty International will be holding a spoken word event on Monday, Nov. 16.