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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Tuesday night Cause Dinner benefits The Thirst Project

Dining Services and the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate this week hosted their biannual Cause Dinner, supporting The Thirst Project.

To participate, students "donated" their meal in Carmichael or Dewick?MacPhie Dining Center by writing their name and ID number on lists held by Thirst Project student volunteers. Dining Services then contributed a portion of these diners' funds to the organization.

The Thirst Project is a national non?profit organization that works to provide access to clean water for individuals in developing countries. The Tufts chapter of The Thirst Project launched last spring.

A simple donation of $20 can provide an individual with access to clean water for their entire life, Alex Zorniger, president of the Tufts chapter of The Thirst Project, said.

"There's a really big opportunity to help," Zorniger, a sophomore, said. "We were extremely excited to be chosen."

While information on the raised funds will not be available until next week, Chair of the Senate Services Committee Christie Maciejewski, who selected The Thirst Project for the Cause Dinner, said she believes the event was more successful than in the past. Organizations typically raise around $2,000 from a Cause Dinner, she said.

"The Thirst Project really did a great job," Maciejewski, a junior, said. "Their presentation and presence in the dining hall was commendable."

Since students entering the dining halls tend to be in a rush, The Thirst Project prepared snippets of information about their organization's mission to share with the students. For instance, volunteers said that one in eight people worldwide do not have access to clean water, according to Zorniger.

"It seemed like a lot of students stopped to put their name. In past years a lot more students walked by," Maciejewski said.

Maciejewski said that the Senate Services Committee chose The Thirst Project for the Cause Dinner out of 13 applications because they felt that the group conveys a powerful message, a change from past organizations supported by the Cause Dinner. When Dining Services first hosted the event, Cause Dinners exclusively benefited hunger initiatives, she added.

Although a portion of funds from Tuesday night's dinners went towards The Thirst Project, students could still use their donated meal swipe to eat dinner. Before student IDs were connected to meal plans, donating a meal to the Cause Dinner meant skipping a visit to the dining hall, Maciejewski said.

The Senate Services Committee next semester will select another student organization to benefit from the Cause Dinner. The event usually alternates between benefiting a community service organization and a student group, Maciejewski said, and any Tufts organization is eligible to apply.