Phonathon, PUC’s annual fundraising and outreach campaign, ended December 1 with good news. Since late October, students have been calling alumni and friends of the college to reconnect and raise funds for a variety of projects on campus. At the final call of the campaign last Thursday, donors had given $146,740—well over the goal of $120,000. The majority of the funds will go toward a new bus for PUC, which will serve the students as they travel off-campus for educational trips, service ministries, Pioneers athletic games, and musical performances.
In addition to raising money for the bus and other projects at PUC, student callers took the opportunity to catch alumni up on what’s been happening on campus, as well as to hear what the alumni have been up to. Often, the interaction went even further.
“He sounded generally interested and invested in what he was doing and also took the time to listen,” says Michelle Rai, class of ’97, of Timmy Baze, the theology major who called her. “Tim took the time to actually pray with me over the phone, right then and there. It made a really big impact on me. In fact, when the call ended, the first thought that went through my head was, ‘I should have given more.’”
For their part, the students appreciated the interaction just as much. “I loved getting to talk with people who were in the same field I want to be in because they gave me such good advice!” says Baze. “I also loved praying with people at the end of the call – some people would pray for me over the phone, or tell me they would be praying for me. I appreciated that so much!”
At a party celebrating the end of the successful campaign, several of the student callers acknowledged the challenges of reaching out via what may seem—at first ring—like a telemarketing call. “On some calls it was hard to connect—it was like I was trying to drag the conversation out of the back of my brain,” said student caller Koryn Maran. “But when I stuck with it and finally connected with the person, it felt like I could do anything.”
“I’m so proud of our callers! We could not have done this without all their hard work,” says Phonathon director Connie Phillips. “They really knew how to connect with our alumni and remind them what makes PUC so special. It’s not all about raising money—it’s about supporting these amazing students and keeping our community connected.”
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