Wendt Scholars Raise Money for Relief Efforts

Sep 14, 2017 | Stacey Ortman, director of public information

DUBUQUE, Iowa – University of Dubuque Wendt Character Scholars collected over $200 Wednesday to provide hope and comfort to those impacted by hurricanes in Texas and Florida. It was one of numerous activities held across the globe in honor of the fourth annual Character Day.

“UD emphasizes graduating students who live out the UD Mission to serve others. We believe our Wendt Scholars are positioned to lead the way,” said Annalee Ward, director of the Wendt Center. “We’re excited to participate in Character Day here on campus as UD continues to innovatively lead the college experience by focusing on moral character development and practice.”

Wendt Character Scholars were planning activities for Character Day when Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit. The Rev. Keith Pitts, a scholar and student at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, became involved with hurricane relief efforts. Wendt Character Scholars decided to help aid Pitts’ relief efforts through a request for donations on Character Day to purchase cleanup buckets and hygiene kits.

“I have provided care and support for many survivors of disaster,” said Pitts, an associate pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and coordinator of Eastern Central District Disaster Response with the Iowa Conference of UMC. “They experience the entire gamut of emotions as they see their homes for the first time, realize they have lost those things that are most precious, and wrestle with the shock of where to begin. The simplest acts of love and kindness provide hope and comfort to survivors. Thank you all for responding to God’s call in your life to help the families in Texas and Florida.”

The money raised by Wendt Character Scholars will be donated to the Iowa Conference of the UMC to purchase materials for cleanup buckets and hygiene kits. Cleanup buckets include dish soap, clothespins, a clothesline, inspect-repellant spray, and more. Hygiene kits, on the other hand, include basic items such as a hand towel, washcloth, toothbrush, and comb.

“These kits don’t meet all the needs of a survivor, but they provide a little love, hope, and care as they journey through this difficult time,” Pitts said.

Character Day, hosted by Let It Ripple, is a global movement about the importance of developing and improving character. Over 130,000 events happened in 119 countries, according to letitripple.org. In addition to hurricane relief efforts, Wendt Character Scholars also shared recorded interviews on social media of UD Spartans talking about character.

“As a pastor and Wendt Scholar I am a leader representative of Christ’s church,” Pitts said. “We are called by God to be stewards of what we have been given. I believe our character is shown through many areas of our lives. One of them is in our pocketbooks. Giving of our abundance to help those who have none reflects the character of Jesus Christ. I can’t think of a better thing to do on Character Day.”