NSU’s Theme Park Club (TPC) has earned over a million dollars in funding through their community service hours. The club plans to use the money to fund upcoming trips to Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Legoland and Busch Gardens.
The club, which has 60 members and is growing by the day, earned a million dollars by completing over a thousand hours of community service at different locations throughout South Florida.
Reynal Dreyfus, president of the Theme Park Club, said that the club members were motivated to serve so many hours because of the generous financial incentives.
“It’s so awesome that we can serve the community while getting funding for our trips,” she said. “We worked hard in the community, and making a difference was cool, but the money is what made it all worth it.”
Dreyfus said that before joining the Theme Park Club, she hadn’t done any community service since it was required by her high school for graduation.
“Since I joined the TPC, community service has become a way of life for me,” she said. “It’s my entire entertainment budget. It’s why I’m out there every day, helping people.”
SGA fundraising and community service coordinator Wesley Westerchester said that he’s been surprised by the willingness of clubs to do community service in exchange for funding.
“It’s usually so difficult to get individuals to take time out of their day to better their communities,” he said. “Who would’ve thought that offering them money would be so effective?”
Westerchester said that NSU has begun thinking about community service differently.
“We decided to treat community service as a paid job rather than a volunteer activity,” he explained. “I think we really got to the heart of what community service is. We must have touched some deep, altruistic nerve within the students that is causing them to get so involved in their communities. I really can’t explain it, but it’s so beautiful to see students finally engage with the people around them and care about making a difference.”
Dreyfus said that using the money earned from completing community service hours to plan fun trips for the club is the ultimate expression of community.
“The TPC is a community,” she said. “We’re taking the money we’ve earned by investing in others, and using it to invest in ourselves. At the end of the day, the community is what matters. And by community, I mean me and my friends.”