10,000 ways that U of C lends a hand

The University of Calgary Students’ Union has just done their good deed of the day.

On Wed., April 10, the Committee of 10,000 presented six awards from $1,000 to $4,000 to Calgary charitable organizations. The funds come from a $1 levy collected from each full-time undergraduate U of C student,totalling $17,500 this year.

"It’s an honour to receive this support," said Project Ploughshares program coordinator Kerry Duncan-McCartney. "This will help our visibility, notably with a street sign by the Foothills Hospital."

The committee was formed when the student population of the U of C was 10,000, hence its name. Currently, it is composed of the SU Vice-President External Oliver Bladek and six students. This year, the committee reviewed 45 applications based on a number of criteria like the organization’s community relations, funds usage, and sustainability.

"The committee has a mandate of students contributing to charity," said Bladek. "It’s a philanthropic effort with SU donations trying to really help out these groups."

The six organizations chosen in 2002 vary widely in their size and their goals, ranging from a social group for youth with disabilities to a peace advocacy group to a crisis centre. What they have in common, however, is that only one currently receives dedicated United Way funding. According to the committee, this can be a good funding source for the charities.

"We really try to do nice things," said committee member Milli Gupta. "The funding is going to a good cause, and I think the process went well this year."

With all its good work, the Committee of 10,000 has its own problems as well.

"The toughest job of the committee is to decide which organizations are the most worthy," said Bladek. "It’s unfortunate. We’re always asking ‘Are these the best?’ We hope so."

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