The solidification of REVO as an official campus club this year sets the movement as more than a fad at Pacific Union College. It is the student body's lasting commitment to social justice. REVO PUC 2009 proves that last year's movement and event (and $10,000 raised for trafficked children in Peru) was by no means an anomaly.
REVO is a student-led movement now nationwide, to host events that raise awareness and funds for various humanitarian causes. The concept of REVO plays off the word "revolution" and is as much a mindset as it is a cause. According to the movement's website (www.startarevo.org), REVO is "based on the concept of LOVE. To live the REVO everyday is to think beyond ourselves and redefine our modern conception of necessity. It is taking a homeless man out to dinner. It is seeing beauty in the disfigured, seeing wholeness in the lame, seeing a dance in the invalid."
Student leader Grace Jung and alum Rachel Thompson are responsible for planting the REVO movement at PUC and nurturing its foundation. "Post-REVO PUC 2008, many people expressed their anticipation of the 'next' REVO and that they couldn't wait to make REVO happen again," says Jung. "So, REVO is back by popular demand!"
Although REVO 2008 addressed more global concerns (supporting the Not For Sale campaign in Lima, Peru, building a vocational school and home for street and slave-trafficked children), REVO 2009 decided to engage more local needs. All the proceeds earned will benefit the Napa Valley Food Bank, a program that distributes food to low-income residents of Napa County. "We thought it would effectively show the versatility of REVO, going global one year to Lima, Peru then local the next with the Napa Valley Food Bank," says Jung. "With the economic downturn, what better time to recognize that our own country needs our help? We thought it was important to make a point that we don't have to travel to help those in need. There are people in our own backyard that desperately could use our help."
The REVO PUC 2009 event featured a benefit sale, food drive, auction and fashion show. Students flooded the campus mall (the area outside the Campus Center) as their peers showed off their musical talents and fashion chic. Although it is a festive event, REVO means to remind students of their natural abilities that they can use to change the world. Jung explains: "The event couples action with will. Rather than just thinking about a pressing issue or learning more about hunger, we are getting up and making things happen. REVO promotes the idea that anyone, especially young people, can change the world into a better place from where they are NOW, with what they have NOW. They don't need a college degree or a stable salary to help improve the world. By putting passionate people to work for REVO we are empowering students to stand up and believe that they are capable of doing amazing, revolutionary things for their world."
A few weeks before the event, PUC faculty and staff challenged the student body to raise over $5,000. If the students could meet this goal, certain individuals pledged to shave their heads, dye their hair blue or green and even "rap" before the student body in the cafeteria. Needless to say, the student body answered the call. Over $8,500 was raised, all of it going to the Napa Valley Food Bank. The "Pay-up" party proved to be a huge event, as students packed the cafeteria to see their professors and administrators fulfill their pledges. Jung then presented a $8,541.41 "check" (a massive white certificate) to Shirley King, the director of the Napa Valley Food Bank. "In Napa alone in the first quarter of this year we served 872 households - way more than we even thought. You guys are actually allowing us to provide the food," says King. The Napa Valley Food Bank facility recently closed down due to rodents and has since functioned out of various sites, besides having to throw away spoiled food. The money will help them replenish their supply during a particularly hard time. "Knowing there's a body of people that actually care makes a big difference for us," King says.
REVO is proving to be more than a passing fad. PUC is living the REVO. As Jung says, "We do not need to wait for the 'right time.' The right time is right now."
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