The cornfields of Iowa. A tiny village in western Nicaragua. The capital of Haiti. Coastal towns in Japan.
At first glance, these places don’t appear to have much in common. However, they share the common thread of rebuilding after devastating natural disasters and benefitting from the efforts of students and staff at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI).
From now through March 15, UNI’s College of Business Administration will make a local and global impact through the sale of engraved donor bricks as part of the Hardwoods Fundraiser.
Fifty percent of the proceeds will go directly to International Medical Corps’ relief efforts. The remaining proceeds will be split evenly to support the building of a water purification system in the remote town of Siares, Matagalpa, Nicaragua, which was devastated by Hurricane Mitch, and to purchase trees and planting materials for the Legends Golf Course in Parkersburg, Iowa, which was partially destroyed by a tornado in May 2008.
The fundraiser, chaired by Joshua Koppes, a junior from Dubuque, Iowa and Chris Schrage, Global Opportunities Coordinator for UNIBusiness, epitomizes UNI’s core virtues of sustainability, service, and global awareness.
When asked why he decided to get involved in the project, Koppes said he was inspired by Schrage and International Medical Corps President & CEO Nancy Aossey, who are both UNI alumnae.
“I saw the global impact they’ve made and I thought do I want to sit in an office or make a difference?” said Koppes.
Schrage, who has assisted with the rebuilding efforts in Iowa and Nicaragua, hopes that the fundraiser will help students “adjust their perspective and understand the realities of others around the world as they solve problems.”