By Emily Hostetler
Multi-cultural student organizations will mix fashion and fundraising to support Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) at an international fashion show during Family Weekend.
Senior Tammy Winkler, president of Hillel, traveled to Israel this summer on a TIPIT grant to volunteer with SACH, an Israeli-based humanitarian project dedicated to giving children the best cardiac care possible regardless of the child’s nationality, religion, color, gender or financial situation, according to the SACH website.
SACH’s mission of equality influenced Winkler to create a fashion show fundraiser that unites the students, faculty and families of Ohio Wesleyan through culture.
“This is something really exciting that has not been done before and it’s a great way to help other people learn about other cultures,” Winkler said.
Many of the culture and religion-based groups on campus including Tauheed, Horizons International, Rafiki wa Afrika and Hillel are helping to plan, organize and gather clothes for the fashion show.
“The show is international themed with clothes from around the world as well as local fashions,” Winkler said. “People from the Greek community will be modeling clothes for fall formals and there will be students showing their own clothes from where they are from like Vietnam, Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Ghana, Myanmar and Brazil.”
Horizons International recently extended group membership to domestic students and is looking forward to displaying the diversity of not only their newly organized group, but the diversity of the Ohio Wesleyan campus.
“The fashion show is interactive and everyone has a chance to intermingle,” senior Mahnoor Wali, president of Horizons International, said. “International diversity is not as exposed as it could be on campus. We can benefit from international students sharing what they know.”
Although the fashion show is the main event, there will also be a date auction and raffles to raise money for SACH.
Junior Maria Jafri, president of Tauheed, heard about the upcoming show through OWU’s interfaith group, Better Together.
She wanted to get her group involved because it is part of Islamic culture to give to charity.
“Tauheed usually does events that benefit our group, but we want to do more projects that are a way of giving back,” Jafri said. “It is nice to see people coming together as a community for such a good cause.”
Winkler planned the event for Family Weekend to extend the audience beyond OWU students and faculty, although she encourages students and faculty to attend as well.
Senior Yelena Coulibaly, president of Rafiki wa Afrika said the event will benefit from being on Family Weekend.
“It is important for people to be aware and educated about what’s happening all over the world. Having the event during Family Weekend should ensure an amazing turnout,” Coulibaly said.
She also said that Rafiki wanted to participate to showcase their culture while helping a great cause.
“The organization called Save A Child’s Heart is self-explanatory, and it is our duty to make sure that every child has a chance to live,” she said.
SACH is based in Israel at the Wolfson Medical Center where doctors perform examinations and surgeries for children around the world in need of cardiac care.
Typically, children will stay in special recovery houses for three months where volunteers help them stay comfortable and happy after surgery.
According to the SACH website, it costs $10,000 to treat one child at SACH, and nearly 30 children can be in treatment at a time.
The fashion show will not only focus on bringing cultures together at OWU for a greater cause, but how bringing people together at SACH saved over 250 children in just one year.
The fashion show is Sept. 29 in the Benes rooms and costs $3 for OWU students, $5 for general admission.
All proceeds collected at the event will go to the SACH organization.
“Doing anything that benefits anyone but you is a good thing,” Wali said. “There is no greater gift than giving a child a chance at life.”