Finance major Lydia Wang climbed as far up and into the orange trees as she could to pick the fruit that her fellow volunteers could not reach.
Wang was part of a group of 30 student volunteers who gathered early last Saturday morning to pick 80 bags worth of oranges from the orange trees around Mihaylo Hall. Each bag weighed about 30 pounds, and the result of their labor will be donated to local charities.
In 2013, Amanda Leon, development specialist and analyst at Mihaylo College, began encouraging donors to sponsor the orange trees for $1,500 each to generate funds for student services and scholarships. So far, 20 trees have been sponsored. Leon decided to take the project a step further:
“If we want people to sponsor these trees, we need to do something beneficial for Orange County,” she says.
Specifically, Leon decided to start a project that included students picking the fruit and donating it to non-profit organizations. Student volunteers helped pick and package oranges and delivered them to Casa Teresa and Share Our Selves charities. Both of these organizations were founded in the 1970s and provide services and programming for the homeless and low-income populations in Orange County.
“Prior to this there wasn’t really any use for the oranges … whatever wasn’t picked was just thrown away,” says Leon.
Kianna Millar, a second-year business marketing student and vice president of programs for the Business Inter-Club Council (BICC), worked alongside Leon to plan the event and recruited students to volunteer and participate in Saturday’s events.
“We’re so lucky to have all these resources and to live … like we do,” says Alfred Estaca, marketing major and president of Delta Sigma Pi. “It makes sense to give back to the community.”
Estaca’s main role in Delta Sigma Pi is to motivate and challenge the other members to achieve their goals. He heard about this event by sitting in on the BICC meeting and said it was a great opportunity to get involved in the community.
The Business Inter-Club Council, American Marketing Association, Association of Information Technology, Latino Business Student Association, Delta Sigma Pi, Alpha Beta Gamma, MBA Association and Associated Students Inc. were among the student organizations that participated in this project. Students were also interviewed and photographed by the Daily Titan and Orange County Register.
Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company in Fullerton donated pizzas to feed the student volunteers.
For more information about sponsoring an orange tree, contact Leon at 657-278-7918.