The spirit of giving has erupted throughout the Department of Leadership at Fort Hays State University. Students from the Leadership 310 course have designed a project by the name of “Just Ask.”
“Our project is called Just Ask because it’s really scary to go out and ask people to help you and to donate things, but as long as you ask, the worst thing they can do is say no,” senior Valerie McAtee said.
The Just Ask project was inspired by McAtee, who had done a similar project in her home town.
The project is geared toward raising gifts, finances and supplies for the women and children of the Northwest Kansas Domestic & Social Violence Service. In addition to physical elements, Just Ask also aspires to raise awareness about sexual and domestic violence.
“The important part of this project is to raise awareness that there is help if there is sexual or domestic violence happening to you,” McAtee said. “There is help, and you don’t have to sit there and suffer.”
The student coordinators of Just Ask have designed big red donation boxes with white and black ribbon on them. These boxes were set up at businesses around Hays on Tuesday, where they will remain until Dec. 10.
“Donations can be made at the Leadership Department, Commerce Bank, Union Help Desk, First National Bank, Bank of Hays, Equity Bank, Emprise Bank, and Sunflower Bank,” McAtee said.
Donated items should be new and should be something a woman or a child would enjoy.
“It’s mainly women and children at the shelter, so we’re hoping to get anything new for the kids, and for moms we’d like gift certificates, candles, lotions or anything that you think a mom would like,” McAtee said.
According to the NKDSVS mission statement, their mission is to bring an end to domestic violence and/or sexual assault while ascribing to the individual victim’s healing and growth through advocacy, education and service. The women and children will not be in the comforts of their homes and may not be in the presence of their families. For more information on how to help or get involved, the Just Ask project will have information at Saturday’s basketball game.
“Our goal is to have enough presents for everyone at the shelter over Christmas, and we want to raise a significant amount of money and supplies to give to them,” McAtee said.