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Earlham College professor raises $4K to feed Richmond families

March 26, 2020

Rachael ReavisEarlham College professor Rachael Reavis has raised more than $4,000 as part of a fundraiser to support local families and businesses during the global COVID-19/novel coronavirus pandemic.

Proceeds from her newly created “Richmond Feeds Richmond” initiative have been used to buy and distribute gift cards from local restaurants to families in need. Restaurants were selected based on location and the capacity to deliver.

“This is a collaborative project that is helping small business and families at the same time,” Reavis said.

“Restaurants seemed like a business sector that would be hurting, but that could be helped through this crisis with community support,” she said. “We always have a number of food insecure families in Richmond and this crisis, with people losing their job and being fearful of losing their jobs, will only increase that.”

Reavis, an associate professor of psychology, promoted the fundraiser on social media and Facebook groups dedicated to the local response of COVID-19.  Most donations were collected using popular mobile payment services, including Venmo or PayPal, because they don’t charge fees or delay the distribution of funds raised, Reavis said. Donations were then distributed to families in partnership with Communities in Schools of Wayne County, a non-profit that supports students at risk of dropping out of school.

“Communities in Schools is already working hard to get food to families,” Reavis says. “I wanted to have a system set up where the community would trust that proceeds from the fundraiser were being used in an appropriate way.”

The gift cards – 163 gift cards of at least $20 were purchased – supported Bertie’s Music Bar, Galo’s Italian Grill, Gulzar’s, Smiley’s and Cordial Cork.

“This may have started out as an effort by me and other members of the Earlham community, but it has expanded to truly become a community effort supported by people all across Richmond and Wayne County,” Reavis said.

— EC —

Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a College That Changes Lives. We aspire to provide the highest quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences. We expect our students to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success.

Princeton Review ranks Earlham in the Top 20 nationally for Best Classroom Experience, and U.S. News & World Report recognizes the College as one of 55 institutions taking pioneering approaches to serving students, and ranks EC 7th for the percentage of international students on campus, 25th for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” and 34th for “Best Value.”

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and zimmebr@earlham.edu.


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