The Student Philanthropy Council has reduced the Nittany Lion Shrine to a miniature-sized piggy bank this week for the Golden Lion Campaign.
The piggy banks were handed out in the HUB-Robeson Center on Tuesday and Wednesday for the project's first Lion’s Share dates. The plastic replicas of the Penn State mascot are used to save up students' loose change throughout the semester. The total amount collected by the end of the semester is used by the council to award textbook scholarships for fellow classmates.
The campaign is a way for students to help students, Leslie Dalton (junior- international politics), president of the council, said.
The distribution at the HUB will occur multiple times this semester and are called Lion’s Share dates, Dalton said. These days also allow students who already have piggy banks to drop off any change collected so far. Each time a student drops off their change, they are entered into the drawing to win the textbook scholarship, Dalton said.
Dalton said this unique project fits well with other work that the organization has done.
“Our mission is to promote the importance of philanthropy to students, and this is our biggest initiative now,” she said. “It promotes students giving back to students and the circle of philanthropy.”
Council member Molly Daley (sophomore-advertising and public relations) said she wants students to learn that they are the ones who can help the university and not just alumni.
“We do a lot with alumni, but with this we are reaching out to students and it's something they are really interested in,” Daley said.
The project, which began last year, was offered only to freshmen, Dalton said. The piggy banks were included in welcome bags during move-in week. This year, piggy banks are offered to the entire student body in an effort to gain more attention and money for scholarships.
Dalton said she is very excited to see how much money they can earn this year by offering up the campaign to all classes. The number of scholarships funded to students depends solely on how much they earn, so the more students give, the more students can get, Dalton said.
Last spring semester, the council collected $223 from just the freshman class, Dalton said. As a result, two $100 textbook scholarships were given out for use at the Penn State Bookstore.
Students who stop to pick up a piggy bank in the HUB can also write down their name and email to be entered into the scholarship drawing. Even though this week was the first Lion’s Share dates this year, the council already has pages of names that have taken a bank and can be eligible for a textbook scholarship, Dalton said.
Although most students said the bank caught their eye at first because it was cute or cool, they said once they learned what it could do for students just like them they really liked the idea.
“It's interesting that they are caring so much about fellow students,” Abbey Halula (sophomore- premedicine) said.
Dalton said the Council always stresses participation rather than the size of the gift, and it is no different for this campaign.
“It doesn't matter how big the gift is, even if it's just a dollar,” Dalton said. “When 50 people donate, that adds up and it really helps.”
The next Lion’s Share dates will be between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Nov. 27 and 28 in the HUB, Dalton said.