The Official Student Newspaper of Calvin College Since 1907
April 9, 2010
Volume 104, Issue 24
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Small donations make big difference

When I was attending Calvin College, I had more than one opportunity to talk about student giving to certain faculty members and friends. As was my belief at the time — and the current mentality of some students — I was “already paying thousands to go there ... how could they need more from me?”

A few individuals argued this point with me, and fewer still could convince me that even ten dollars — what I would spend on a random lunch once a week — was important. As a result, I left Calvin thinking those same thoughts, and when the first round of student callers found my cell phone number and requested my financial support, I responded with a polite “No thanks” (as I was paying other bills). My financial paradigm had always included room for tithing and giving, and I’d heard more than enough sermons on “the floodgates being thrown open” and “storing up treasure in heaven,” but between paying for gas and going to work, I’d developed a cynical mindset. Tithing was one thing, but donations were for millionaires. And since I am not a millionaire, Calvin would get no money. “After all,” I thought, “they have all of the money they need ... from the millionaires. My ten dollars don’t matter.”

Since graduating from Calvin I have come to realize that my belief was wrong. Millionaires are great, and undeniably play a large role in the support of great causes (collegiate and otherwise), but they are not the only contributors. What I saw with President Obama’s campaign and more recently with the earthquake in Haiti was that people — normal, middle-class citizens — can have a huge impact on world events.

Where we choose to invest our time and money, regardless of the amount, is important. As students, you’re already investing your time at Calvin.

Most of you have scholarships, and most of those scholarships came from former Calvin students and friends of the college who believed in the education and practices of Calvin. And most of those donors are not millionaires. They are part of a community that supports you, and as Calvin students, you are already a part of that community as well.

As cheesy as it sounds, you really ARE Calvin College. And when you choose to support Calvin’s endowment, even if it’s just ten bucks, it is helping. It’s making a difference in the life of that random you just passed on your way to Johnny’s. 

You are already the next generation of our representatives that will be out in the “real world,” and where you choose to invest your lunch money is already important.

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