Colin Jarvis
Colin Jarvis, Executive Director of Newburgh Ministry. (Photo courtesy of newburghministry.org)

by Frank Tetler

Tying in to a Winter Olympic theme, two Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) seniors are running a competition called “Fight for the Gold” to raise funds and awareness for Newburgh Ministry, a local homeless shelter.

For the eight weeks leading up to April 16, Janine Martin and Andrew “AJ” Uhl are running various activities for their senior thesis project as public relations majors, including donations of household goods and funds that will aid the Newburgh Ministry.

Martin and Uhl have distributed donation bins to department offices throughout campus to collect items for basic needs and survival, as well as items that can be sold at the Ministry’s thrift shop.

“We are collecting clothes, household items, toiletries, non-perishable foods, eye glasses, coffee, tea, and soup,” said Martin. “Pretty much everything we take for granted.”

The bins can be found in the Career Center, Admissions, Athletics, and Campus Ministry offices. They can also be found in the following division offices: Math, Business, Natural Science, Nursing, Religion, Arts and Letters, Social Sciences, and Education.

“We decided to tie the Winter Olympics into our project by installing an Olympic style scoring system to our donation period,” said Uhl.

A tally is being kept at each bin of who specifically donated so that they can crown a winner at the April 16 awards ceremony.

“The progress has been great so far,” said Martin. “We have been to the ministry four times now, bringing clothes, food, and toiletries each week.”

The pair also hopes that students will help by buying tickets for a 50/50 raffle.

“We’ll be outside the View [in Aquinas Hall] selling raffle tickets…until April 11,” said Martin

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on April 16 at 6 p.m. where Martin and Uhl will be raffling off baskets and serving light refreshments.

Executive Director of Newburgh Ministry, Colin Jarvis, will attend the ceremony to accept the funds raised for the Newburgh Ministry.

“Newburgh Ministry is not only a homeless shelter,” said Martin.“They offer assistance to the residents of Newburgh in any way they can.”

According to Martin, the Newburgh Ministry is a place where local residents can find a warm cup of coffee and a smile.

Newburgh Ministry offers Winterhaven, a short term shelter for the homeless, a health clinic, homework assistance for kids, a play area, and a thrift store.

The ministry’s thrift store accepts new and used clothing and household goods. Items are sold for no more than 50 cents.

“Selling items rather than simply giving them away promotes the dignity of people,” Martin said. “If customers cannot afford to pay for the items, they are given for free.”

Martin hopes everyone on campus gains awareness of Newburgh Ministry located outside the walls of MSMC.

“They have helped so many lives for the better.” Martin said. “Our help can go a long way and make other people’s lives easier.”

Uhl says he hopes the program will help tie the Ministry to the school for years to come.

“Your help is strongly needed,” Uhl added. “And we thank you in advance. Let the games begin.”