NSSLHA Donates 4,000+ Masks to Tallahassee’s Kearney Center

FSU’s chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) participates in several fundraising projects within the Tallahassee community each semester. In early September, NSSLHA raised enough money to donate over 4,000 face masks to Tallahassee’s Kearney Center.

“I knew this year would be challenging in terms of events and fundraisers due to COVID-19 and the mandated regulations,” said NSSLHA president, Brooke Wadsworth. “We wanted to choose a way to incorporate ourselves with a local cause that would benefit the people of Tallahassee and help out with the pandemic in some way. The Kearney Center was the perfect way for us to do this.”

The Kearney Center is a 24-hour emergency service center located in Tallahassee that aims to support those experiencing homelessness or economic hardship. Since its founding in 2015, the Kearney Center has acted as a point of entry into assistance for those in need by coordinating services and responding to the immediate needs of individuals and families until permanent housing can be arranged.

“Brooke and I had the idea of collaborating with our social media chair, Lexie Bobrow, to make an Instagram template asking for donations from friends and family of our members via Venmo,” said vice president, Lauren Olmsted. “We knew these times are tough, and not all our members are financially able to directly provide money towards this organization, so asking for others’ help around us was the best alternative.”

Wadsworth and Olmsted worked closely with staff at the Kearney Center to get the ball rolling. The team also collaborated with NSSLHA’s fundraising committee members, Kathryn Vastano and Madison White.

Venmo TemplateAs NSSLHA FSU’s social media chair, Bobrow helped execute the fundraiser. She designed the Venmo template for NSSLHA members to post on their personal Instagram accounts using the ‘stories’ feature (pictured left). This graphic helped members raise funds by requesting donations from their friends directly through Venmo. Additionally, Bobrow created a graphic with information about the Kearney Center to accompany the Venmo template. This helped NSSLHA’s Instagram followers know exactly where their money was going.

This method of fundraising has become increasingly popular, and it’s clearly working. “Our members got so many donations from their Instagram followers that we raised a total of $979.49 to help the Kearney Center purchase more masks for their residents,” Bobrow shared. Additionally, family and friends of NSSLHA donated to the fundraiser directly to NSSLHA’s Venmo.

With 50 masks costing $10.99, NSSLHA raised enough money to purchase over 4,000 masks for the Kearney Center.

Bobrow is extremely proud of the club’s efforts and results. “This is a tough time for many,” she said, “so NSSLHA is glad that we were able to make a positive change for others.”