What started as a way to fulfill a requirement for their entrepreneurship major, youngsters Jamie Delas and Suzanne Breen hope their mental health crowdfunding project will unite the MSU community for years to come.
Breen and Delas started a crowdfunding project to raise money for Mental Health America, or MHA, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting mental health and preventing mental illness. MHA has several programs including education and outreach, research and innovation, policy and advocacy, and information and referral services.
MSU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation major requires students to complete two experiences in addition to 15 credits. Breen approached Delas with the idea of fundraising because she wanted to do something “out of the ordinary.”
Delas suggested making his Mental Health America cause because mental health impacts the entire MSU community.
“Whether they’ve personally dealt with something or know someone affected by it, I’m sure everyone can relate to it,” Delas said.
The couple’s first step was to create an Instagram account to publicize their project. Every day a motivational quote or message related to mental health is posted on the @mha_msu account. Breen said the goal of the account is to get her name out there before they start promoting fundraisers.
“Once we finish the individual food fundraisers, we will be able to promote it there and tell our supporters what day and time it will be, hopefully they will enjoy it,” Breen said.
So far, Breen and Delas have completed two fundraisers. The first is with Poke Fresh, located at 551 E. Grand River Ave., on Oct. 27, and the second is with Detroit Wing Company, located at 437 E. Grand River Ave., on Nov. 11. They said that they hope to work with More Than Vintage in the future.
Another fundraiser the couple have been preparing for is a launch event at the Union in late October. They ordered personalized silicone wristbands to give away to anyone who donates more than a dollar to MHA. A primary goal of the project is to bring the MSU community together, Breen said.
“We’re hoping it will be more of a community activity rather than a one-time fundraiser,” Breen said. “We would love to have a couple of undergraduate entrepreneurship students do an MHA fundraiser every year. You can try to be constantly growing.”
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