Ark Project wraps up, still short of $5,000 goal


    Although TCU’s Ark Project is scheduled to officially come to an end today, almost $2,000 short of its initial $5,000 goal, donations are expected to continue coming in until Thanksgiving, said the project’s main organizer.”Money should be trickling in for a while so there’s still a chance $5,000 could be raised,” said Kelly Rand, a junior social work major and the project’s main organizer. “We just had to end the project so we can focus on something else.”

    The $3,000 students and faculty have raised since the beginning of October will go toward the purchase of livestock for families in underdeveloped countries, she said.

    The money will be donated to Heifer International, a humanitarian organization dedicated to solving the problem of world hunger by providing families with livestock, as well as training them to create a sustainable income, Rand said.

    Heifer will most likely use the money raised by the Ark Project to help communities plagued by AIDS in southeastern Africa, said Maria Franco Tapia, Heifer International’s Central Regional community relations coordinator for Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.

    The original $5,000 goal of the project would have gone specifically toward purchasing what Heifer International’s Web site refers to as an “ark,” a select combination of 15 types of animals, Rand said.

    The Ark Project differed from the typical fundraiser because it allowed for people to choose a specific animal to donate rather than just an arbitrary amount of money, Rand said.

    “It personalizes the donation process,” Rand said. “It’s more rewarding to know that you donated a living, breathing animal rather than just a sum of money.”

    The cost of animals for the ark ranged from $20 dollars for a flock of chickens to $500 for a cow.

    Despite the failure to reach their monetary goal, the project was a huge success due to the number of people who got involved and are now aware of Heifer International, Rand said.

    “Rasing awareness about this is more important than the donations,” Rand said. “Donations came from so many different people and groups around Fort Worth and TCU.”

    The TCU Catholic Community bought a trio of guinea pigs, Delta Gamma sorority purchased two flocks of chickens, St. Michael’s Lutheran Church bought a cow and the third floor west wing of Foster Hall donated two llamas, which were named Phil and Lois by the wing’s resident assistant, Ryan Motter.

    The social work, religion, criminology, sociology and anthropology departments also contributed funding and support, Rand said.

    Additional money came from the sales of Ark Project T-shirts and money collected from donation jars at Ark Project information tables in the Student Center, Rand said.

    Despite the formal end of the project, one faculty member said she was inspired to keep the fundraising alive.

    Leslie Lovett, an instructor in the social work department, has challenged the rest of the department to raise $120 for a goat.

    Lovett said if the social work department donates a goat she will donate another one.

    “I want to challenge my colleagues and the rest of the TCU community to donate to Heifer,” Lovett said.