This year, the Bellevue College Social Business Forum has undertaken the task of raising awareness about child hunger and trafficking. On Friday, Nov. 18, the Business Forum, partnered with off-campus organizations such as Stolen Youth, Farmer Frog and Bellevue Backpack, held a fundraising and relay event which aimed to raise food and money for their cause. The entry fee for the relay race was $1 or an item of food. The forum opened the donations to the community as well for nonperishable items such as canned food or dry goods.
The relay race started from the C building, circled through buildings D, E, B and A and ended back inside C. “This relay will educate and support young people in building healthy and self-sustaining communities independent of long-term ongoing aid,” according to the post on BC’s event page by the Business Forum.
“We looked at the United Nations’ sustainable development goals and we were trying to pick one that worked for us in terms of trying to address a social issue that is affecting children at risk,” explained Chitalu Mumba, one of the coordinators for the forum. According to Mumba, the main purpose of the relay event was to raise money to start a seed fund for international projects.
“We already have some partners doing projects in India, Kenya and Zambia. We’re trying to get seed funds ready for them to start their projects,” said Mumba.
Bellevue College’s Social Business Forum is a program designed by Global Social Business Partners, a nonprofit organization in Seattle which conducts local, national and international work through partnerships and collaborations. The nonprofit partners with investors, businesses, nonprofits, schools and other organizations to provide resources that can support other social businesses in local, national and international areas. Raising funds and stocking resources to promote other organizations is one of the few responsibilities of BC’s Social Business Forum.
The final count of monetary and food donations was $66 and eight cans of food. “Depending on how much food we got, we decided to allot some of it to the college’s food pantry and the rest to outside partners,” shared Mumba about the organization’s plans for its donations.
In addition, the club continues to maintain off-campus philanthropic activities. Every Sunday, club members volunteer at the Bellevue Lake Hills Farm to promote a “food forest,” one of Farmer Frog’s projects. “We’re growing crops on that piece of land and when they’re ready, we bring them to the food pantry here and we also donate them for food drives off-campus,” explained Mumba.
In December, the Social Business Forum also plans to hold the first annual design lab event, where students come up with ideas to tackle a social issue. Through the lab, club members and participating students will assess how well they can implement the idea.
Other events include a screening of “Sold,” a documentary about child trafficking, and Youth Rising, a conference which will invite mainly high school students to create a social business idea. “It’s going to be a small competition and they’re going to pick the best idea,” said Delphina Asinari, another coordinator for the Social Business Forum.
More information about the goals of club’s and its parent organization’s goals can be found on socialbusinesspartners.org or on the Bellevue College website.