Students Lead a Revolution of Giving

By Jackson Boren on May 22, 2008

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After months of preparation and promotion, the Pacific Union College campus mall was alive and packed with people on the night of May 18 as the twilight hours welcomed the first REVO PUC. The event was the brainchild of graphic design major Rachel Thompson and inspired by a campus visit from activist David Batstone, encouraging awareness about human trafficking. The awareness of this cause encouraged Thompson to take it up as her own and encourage her peers to do the same.

With hundreds of students in attendance, REVO (short for “revolution”) provided a variety of entertainment and features to draw attention to its cause. There was a spoken word poetry slam, a fashion show, several student organization booths and a concert by Hawaii-based indie band, Goodbye Elliott. Corn dogs and lemonade were on sale and the Amnesty International booth was right at home in the awareness-raising event.

The marquee feature of the event was the student-run benefit sale. Hundreds of items that were donated by students, faculty and community members were resold and auctioned off. All proceeds went to a project of Batstone’s “Not For Sale” campaign, building a shelter and vocational center for trafficked and abused children in Lima, Peru.

Student Nathan Miller, who helped man the silent auction table, noted, “People will say, ‘This is for the kids? Well then, yeah, I’ll bid!’ It’s not about how much you want to pay for something but how much it can benefit the kids.”

The REVO movement was started over a year ago in Hilo, Hawaii, by a close friend of Thompson’s, and has since spread to Orlando, Philadelphia, Baton Rouge, New York and Las Vegas. Each REVO event has taken its own unique approach to raising awareness and funds for different causes.

With nearly $10,464 raised at REVO PUC, it is safe to say the event was a success. But for the REVO crew (consisting of nearly a dozen students), it is still a work in process. The plan is to bring the event back next year, supporting another social justice cause.

Organizing REVO PUC was an intensive project, but Thompson was motivated by the conviction that one’s faith and active participation in social justice causes are interconnected. “If we call ourselves followers of Christ,” Thompson says, “then this is something we must be a part of. He calls us to do this work.”