By: Fay Goldstein, Managing Director
Over the past few days and throughout the month of February, in honor of Valentine’s Day and February’s American Heart Month, Hasbara Fellowships and Save A Child’s Heart Young Leadership have partnered to bring a Valentine’s Day themed campaign to university campuses across North America. Save A Child’s Heart Young Leadership is managed by Marissa Rosenfeld, who actually heard about and visited Save A Child’s Heart for her first time ever when she was a student on Hasbara Fellowships! She and I were on the same Hasbara student delegation in the summer of 2011!
SACH (in short) is an Israeli humanitarian organization that provides lifesaving cardiac surgery for children from developing countries and also trains doctors from around the world to bring these life-saving skills back to their home countries. Over 90 university campuses around the US and Canada will be hosting fundraising and awareness campaigns for Save A Child’s Heart over the next few weeks.
During the month of February, over 200 university students, many of whom are Hasbara Fellows and visited the Save A Child’s Heart children’s home in Israel, hope to collectively fundraise the $15,000 necessary to save the life of one child. They are hosting on-campus bake sales, auctions, karaoke benefits, and more. The campuses register as a Hasbara Fellowships SACH team on a fundraising platform – give.classy.org/hasbara – and ‘compete’ to see who can raise the largest percentage of the $15,000 goal.
This initiative is not only about fundraising the money however, it is also largely about the positive emotions that this initiative and Israeli organization brings to campus. Often, we hear a negative campus narrative, where the entire conversation about Israel centers around war, conflict, and politics – this is a chance for students and communities to speak about Israel in different terms – in a proactive and positive way.
Some of the 90+ campuses participating are:
American University McGill University University of Georgia
Baruch College Miami University of Ohio University of Illinois
Boston University Michigan State University University of Massachusetts
Brandeis University Northeastern University University of Miami
Brooklyn College Northwestern University University of Minnesota
Brown University Ohio State University University of New Hampshire
Cal State Long Beach Penn State University of Oregon
Carleton University Queens University University of Pennsylvania
Colorado State Rutgers University University of Pittsburgh
Concordia University San Diego State University University of South Florida
Cornell University Tufts University University of Texas
Florida Atlantic University Tulane University University of Toronto
Florida State University University of British Columbia University of Vermont
George Mason University University of Calgary University of Virginia
George Washington University University of California, Davis Vanderbilt University
Harvard University of California, Irvine Wayne State University
Hunter College UC, Los Angeles Yale University
Indiana University UC, Santa Barbara York University
Kent State University UC, Santa Cruz
We are so impressed that in honor of this month of hearts and valentines, these students are doing all they can to spread the love! Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and specifically THIS album to see photos of the campaign in action! You can also search the hashtag #HasHeart to see all of the campus activity!