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Freshman Raises $12,000 for Homeless Youth

Posted: 2/6/2019

Olivia Arnold raised over $12,000 for homeless youth through the Covenant House of Georgia’s Scholars in Service program. She was the only freshman out of 40 high school students selected to “learn the ins and outs of the nonprofit community in Atlanta and contribute their own strengths and skillsets to the continual improvement of the city.” Selected students committed to raising at least $1,000 during the program, and Olivia exponentially surpassed this goal and continues to solicit donations even now that the program officially ended on January 8.

From October to January, Olivia and her constituents participated in workshops and discussions to learn more about homelessness and philanthropy. The discussions focused on understanding what life is like for homeless youth and examining the factors that lead to generational poverty. They also focused on understanding the purpose and philosophy of fundraising and how to communicate in the nonprofit world while appealing to the head and the heart.

Olivia used what she learned in these workshops in her approach to fundraising. She studied the best ways to fundraise and started to network. Reaching out to family, friends, local businesses, and even asking her friends at school for their parent’s emails, Olivia cast as broad a net as possible to reach as many potential donors as she could. She then started with email solicitations, followed by phone calls to set up personal meetings, lunches, and house calls.

“What’s special about Covenant House is that they’re not just raising money and awareness,” explained Olivia, “they’re getting involved in politics and talking with lawmakers; they’re physically getting these kids off the streets and reuniting families; they’re providing a temporary home for these kids and teaching them through professional development classes.” Olivia plans to continue her work and start an apostolate here at HSP that supports Covenant House and homeless youth in Atlanta.