Donate a car, change a life
A donated Mercedes Benz has prompted Douglas College to collect $5,000 in student aid donations through an innovative website, and help sick kids at the same time.
The kid-sized car — a convertible, '60s-style Mercedes Benz 300SL, to be exact — was donated by a staff member who works in the finance department and regularly sees students in financial need.
"I'm a strong supporter of the [Douglas College] foundation because I believe in education, and sometimes kids don't have the money or the support to make it," said Alec Logan, the manager of accounting information for self-funded activities.
"It's a crucial time in their life...and sometimes they just need that little bit of support to make the decision to pursue an education," he added.
Logan had recently purchased his own Mercedes and was back at the dealership for a service appointment when he discovered the pint-sized car was available for purchase — the only Mercedes you can buy for less than $1,000, he joked — so Logan added it to his bill and donated it to Douglas.
Andrew Senjack, alumni relations co-ordinator, decided to use the Indiegogo site to collect donations after a colleague suggested it, noting it had been used to raise nearly $700,000 for the bullied bus monitor in the U.S.
"We thought maybe this site was something we could use to our advantage," Senjack said, since the Indiegogo site allows donors to post comments, and it provides a link to information about Douglas College as well for any non-local donors.
Staff spent about an hour shooting a video in the Douglas College atrium, featuring a little boy zooming around in the battery-operated car, edited it down and posted it on www.indiegogo.com.
The school hopes to raise $5,000 in donations to pay for tuition and books for a full-time Douglas College student for one year.
If they reach their goal by Oct. 4, they'll donate the car to the Ronald McDonald House for Sick Children.
"Not only is this supporting students, which one of our own staff initiated, but it's going to end up bringing smiles to the faces of sick kids," said Hazel Postma, associate external vice-president.
In just a few days the fund has collected nearly $700 toward its goal.
For more information, and to donate, visit www.indiegogo.com and search for Douglas College.