Eat Currywurst for charity: On May 19, 2015, the iconic meal will cost 20 cents more than usual in the canteens and the StuCafés. The money will go to the "Studentenhilfe München e.V." – a charity organisation that helps students in need. The event is organized by the team of zusammen.sammeln at the TUM's Junge Akademie. Marlies Köpke explains what the event is all about.
How did you come across the idea of collecting money through lunch meals?
In Regensburg, there is an initiative based on collecting returnable bottles for a good cause. Our idea was that us people in Munich can do that too. Even with a small budget – together, we can make a difference. We wondered where there are a lot of cash transactions in the daily routine at the university. …in the canteens! So we contacted the Studentenwerk München, where we found open ears.
How does the fundraising-campaign work?
12 canteens and StuCafés in Munich will offer Currywurst on May 19 for 20 cents more that usual. The strawberry yogurt is 10 cents more. So, if that’s what you choose as your meal, you automatically donate money to the Studentenhilfe. The Studentenwerk will pass the money on directly.
Why did you choose the Currywurst?
That’s because according to the Student Union, it’s the most popular meal throughout the year. Last year, more than 6.000 portions were sold on a comparable day in Munich – and the strawberry yogurt is the students’ most popular dessert. Thus, this could amount to quite a large sum, even with small individual contributions!
Why does the money go to the "Studentenhilfe"?
We conducted a survey, asking “would you donate – and for what?” 760 people took part, and 70% of them stated that they would gladly donate for a project that provides "help for self-help" and that has an "international or regional" focus. Also, transparency was an important issue. Hence, the Studentenhilfe seemed perfect.
Will May 19 be a single event – or is there more to come?
If this turns out to be successful, we think the Studentenwerk might establish it as a regular event. We would think it ideal if the students could help to decide on the donation purpose.
Are you organizing anything else?
We will also initiate a bottle collection similar to the one in Regensburg. From May 4 to 8, we will set up converted oil drums on Main Campus, and we will be present with an information stand on two days to promote the event. The collected money will be forwarded to the “Lebenshilfe-Werkstatt München”, which helps people with mental disabilities to take part in working life.
In a nutshell: What makes the "Currywurst"-campaign special?
Firstly, everyone can take part in the fundraising – and it’s really hassle-free. Just eat a Currywurst in one of the cafeterias on May 19, it's that simple. Secondly, the money will help other students, so we know exactly where the money goes. And, by the way: If you want to help the students without eating Currywurst, you can of course make a donation any time you like, not only on May 19.
Marlies Köpke (22) is a student of Medicine in her fifth year. She is from Heidelberg and has already completed an International Baccalaureate in England. Currently, Marlies is conducting research on a liver disease while working on her doctoral thesis in the field of human genetics. She is a member of the TUM’s Junge Akademie, year 2014/15.
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Junge Akademie of TUM
Studentenhilfe München e.V.