Tatyana White-Jenkins, Assistant Lifestyle Editor
Mason celebrated Love Week, a week dedicated to raising funds and awareness for a country in need, from November 9-13. This year, Cambodia was the country of choice.
GMU Love Week was started six years ago and has helped several countries over the years.
“Each year we choose a different country and cause to raise funds and awareness for,” Emily Huegel, project manager for GMU Love Week, said. “Last year we raised over $8,000 for a non-profit named GAiN to help send water filters over to families in Guatemala to give people access to clean drinking water. This year we are working with Samaritan’s Purse to raise $10,000 to help finance the construction of a school in Cambodia for children that do not have access to an education.”
Love Week is put on by numerous student organizations, including Mason Cru, the Hispanic Student Association, American Society for Civil Engineers, Pi Kappa Sigma, The Music Production Club, Mason Ambassadors, the Office of Internal Programs and Services and University Life. In partnering with local businesses and organizations on campus, this humanitarian outreach hopes to show how college students can make an impact on other countries.
“We really want to show people that even though we’re all college students, when we come together we can make positive change on a global scale,” Huegel said.
Over the years, Love Week has assisted in many projects including sending support packages to earthquake survivors in Haiti, funding rescue missions for women trapped in sex trafficking in the Philippines and providing meals to rural farmers in Botswana and South Sudan.
Focusing on Cambodia this year, Love Week’s goal is to fully finance the construction of a new school for children. The project costs $10,000 and would help over 200 children receive access to an education.
Love Week garnered support and involvement from Mason students by holding events throughout the week such as selling t-shirts and hosting both a talent show and a carnival.
“We sell t-shirts every year and buying one is the easiest way to help support the cause,” said Huegel. “Coming out to our events and supporting the initiative is the best way to help Love Week! We work really hard to plan all the events and almost always give away food or raffle prizes!”
Love Week stresses the importance of college students’ support and the large impact they can make when they come together.
“This week is important because it really shows the student body a simple way to help people around the world that really need our love and support,” said Huegel. “Yes, we’re all 18-22 year old students, but when we come together as George Mason University we can do so much to change the world.”
Huegel emphasized that it is easy for a college student to get involved, raise awareness and make a difference.
“I think people should just know that they don’t have to make a huge effort to be a part of this initiative,” Huegel said. “If every Mason student donated 50 cents today we would have our entire $10,000 goal complete in one day. But, even more than the funds, we’re concerned with just raising awareness and showing people what’s going on around the world and how we can help.”
Focusing on compassion and involvement, Love Week utilizes the support of students, organizations and other supporters to spread its mission.
“Our motto is ‘love people, change the world.’ That is so simple, but so powerful,” said Huegel. “Love Week is such a beautiful ministry because it is a community coming together to fight for a better tomorrow in the most basic way: loving each other genuinely.”