Westminster Class uses Social Media, Crowdfunding to Help Fund Former Classmate's Adoption

Jun 14, 2013

June 14, 2013 Social media marketing class helps alumna raise nearly $1,000 for adoption expenses SALT LAKE CITY - When most people think of "crowdfunding," they usually envision fundraising for inventions, companies, products and video projects. This semester, however, students in Westminster's Social Media Marketing class had the opportunity to use social media and crowdfunding for a cause-one that would help benefit a fellow Griffin's adoption efforts. Mandy Anger, Westminster Master of Professional Communication (MPC) graduate and current adjunct professor, and her husband, Josh, wanted another child. Two years ago they adopted a little girl, Mia, and are currently looking to adopt a baby sister or brother for her. "A fellow professor came to me with the idea of fundraising for Mandy's adoption," said Anita Boeira, instructor for Westminster's social media marketing class. "Mandy and Josh had most of the adoption costs covered, but needed the final $5,500. I was in the process of planning my class, and at the same time looking at all the incredible stuff that was happening on sites like Kickstarter.so I thought it would actually be an awesome project idea to do with my upcoming class." And from that, the "Mia Wants a Little Brother" campaign was conceived. Boeira set up the online crowdfunding site through Gofundme.com. Utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and Squarespace, six students in the class worked together to help promote the campaign and raise funds for the cause. "I thought it was a unique story that this group of students came together to help a former classmate and teacher," said Torin Koos, who not only was a former classmate of Anger's, but also took several classes from her as an instructor. According to Koos, all six students participated in all aspects of the campaign. "All of us worked on copy for the website and wrote for Facebook and tweeted," he added. "Telling the story of why Josh and Mandy would be good parents was one of the keys.it was nice to have a project tied to something where you see the results and see how your efforts helped an actual cause." While crowdfunding has been available for several years now, not everyone thinks of using it to raise money for personal endeavors. "I never would have tried fundraising if Anita hadn't suggested it.we probably would have just waited longer to adopt," said Anger. "I was surprised at who donated.people that we didn't even know, and we have been surprised and humbled at how generous everyone was." After raising nearly $1,000 towards the adoption efforts, the Angers plan to wrap up the fundraising efforts over the next month. They then plan to assess their finances and work with an agency to begin the process of a domestic adoption. The couple has been very grateful to the class for helping with the efforts to get Mia another sibling. "We are very grateful and appreciative to all the students in the class who've helped us, and it's been very fun for us," added Anger. "Everyone was wonderful, and the students were so creative and enthusiastic to create awareness for the cause." For more information, visit the following sites: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MiaWantsALittleBrother Fundraiser Site: http://www.gofundme.com/miawantsabrother

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Krista DeAngelis and Arikka Von
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About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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