WACO, Texas (April 6, 2022) — In the last month, the media has been overstimulated by the harsh realities of the war happening in Ukraine. We have even see how this war is affecting us in America.
As college students, we doubt how impactful we can be when it comes to helping global initiatives. It is daunting to look at a war being broadcast to the entire world and wonder how a few students in Waco can help, but it’s possible.
College students have more resources than they think. The same demographic of “broke college students” is the same one with unhealthy spending habits. According to the National Center of Education Statistics, in fall 2020, there were 19.4 million college students in America. If that many college students chose to make small lifestyle changes, they would be able to help a war in Ukraine. If 19.4 million college students donated to humanitarian efforts, they wouldn’t just be “broke college students,” they’d be world changers.
Arguably the biggest vice of college students is their coffee addiction. It’s why you consistently find at least one Starbucks on large collegiate campuses. According to the Education Data Initiative in 2021, a college student on average spends $93 a month on coffee. Melanie Linguist, a senior biochemistry major at Baylor, said she is one of those guilty of spending too much money on coffee.
“I’ve gotten to the point in the semester where I drinks three cups of a coffee a day,” Linguist said. “I spend a lot of time at Pinewood so usually at least one is from there.”
Committing to donate the cost of one weekly cup of coffee to Ukraine efforts is a way of sacrificing something small to help something bigger. Donating $5 that would have been an oat milk latte might seem small, but what if 19.4 million people committed to it? That’s over $97 million towards refugee relief.
A milestone birthday usually happens during the college years. Students look forward to turning 21 and being able to responsibly drink alcohol for the first time. But what society doesn’t tell the soon-to-be 21 year olds is how expensive alcohol is. On average, college students spend $42 a month on alcohol, but that number could be more than $75 for some.
Consider how much you spend on alcohol monthly and whether it is financially responsible. Or if you have been considering how you could help in the Ukraine effort, committing a portion of the money you might spend on alcohol would be a way to sacrifice to help others.
The idea of every college student in America giving $5 is nice, but the reality is that some people truly can’t afford to give $5 or more every week or month. But there is still a way to give to help Ukraine right on Baylor’s campus.
Two journalism classes at Baylor have come together to raise $20,000 for a joint final project that they believe can actually make a difference. They have created Bears Helping Babies to raise money to provide resources for refugee babies and mothers from Ukraine. They plan to raise their goal by the end of the Spring 2022 semester.
This is where Baylor students can help. To the average college student, $20,000 is a daunting amount of money, it’s about perspective. At the start of the 2021-22 school year, Baylor enrolled 20,626 students. If every Baylor student gave just $1 towards this fundraiser, they alone could raise the goal of Bears Helping Babies.
Sacrificing money and giving up things to be able to donate money is not easy; it takes discipline. But there are terrible things happening in the world and in Ukraine, and there are tangible ways that even “broke college students” can help.