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$10K Greenfeather Grant to benefit Neighborhood Center

The annual Greenfeather challenge starts Nov. 4 and the Stetson community already has raised more than $7,000 for the Neighborhood Center of West Volusia to help the homeless.

Greenfeather Director Maxwell Smith, center, along with Matt Bird, left, and Anna Hamilton visit this year’s Greenfeather Grant recipient.

“So far, through our fundraising stage, we have successfully raised around $7,800, which is amazing considering it’s not even the week of Greenfeather yet,” Maxwell Smith ’21, student director of Greenfeather, said Wednesday, Oct. 30.

“We’re still anticipating a large round of fundraising this weekend, so there’s a high possibility that we will enter Greenfeather week almost at our goal, if not 90 percent of the way there, which would be a dream come true,” he added.

See the complete Schedule of Greenfeather Events to learn how to participate.

The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia was selected as this year’s recipient of the $10,000 Greenfeather Grant. The nonprofit plans to build an outdoor laundry facility at a new homeless assistance center in DeLand, called The Bridge. People living in homelessness will be able to use the laundry for free.

The $10,000 grant will be presented to the Neighborhood Center during the Homecoming football game against San Diego on Saturday, Nov. 9, at noon. Visit Homecoming 2019 for a complete schedule of events, registration and more information.

Now part of Homecoming, the Greenfeather tradition dates to 1952, when students raised funds for local charities at an autumn festival. The weeklong challenge pits students teams against one another to win the most points during activities and fundraising. 

This year’s Airwaves is set for Friday, Nov. 8, from 8-10 p.m. in the Edmunds Center.

The competition for the Greenfeather Trophy will come to a head on Friday night, Nov. 8, when the student teams perform in the Airwaves lip-sync battle in the Edmunds Center. This year, the event will be open to the public. Stetson students get in free. Admission for faculty, staff and the public will be $5, with all proceeds going to the Greenfeather grant.

Last year, Greenfeather exceeded its goal and raised $19,500 for My Angel with Paws, a local nonprofit that trains dogs to help people with disabilities.

The coveted Greenfeather Trophy

Greenfeather moved under the umbrella of the Center for Community Engagement last summer and is making a few changes this year, Smith said. Organizers want to retain the fun events for students but tie in more education about the impact of philanthropy in the local community.

Neighborhood Center Operations Director Waylan Niece will attend some of the fundraising events and talk about its services in the community — assisting the homeless, feeding the hungry and helping people living in poverty.

The Neighborhood Center also will operate the new Bridge crisis shelter and day services center when it opens in spring 2020 with 30 beds. Now under construction at 421 S. Palmetto Ave., the Bridge is a joint effort among the Neighborhood Center, local governments, churches, businesses and civic groups.

“We’re inviting individuals from the Neighborhood Center on to campus to really enrich students’ knowledge and awareness of the issues regarding homelessness and low-income, especially inequality in the city of DeLand and the county of Volusia. Hopefully that gets them invigorated and involved in tackling these issues,” Smith said.