NDSU Lions club raises money for charities with a blue porcelain toilet
If you walk out on a cold day and find a blue porcelain toilet sitting in your yard, it’s most likely from the North Dakota State Lions Club. Wait, why a toilet and what exactly is the NDSU Lions club?
“Lions club is the world’s largest volunteer organization with 1.4 million members in at least 200 countries,” explains Erin Misialek, the vice president of NDSU Lions Club. There are a total of six different branches of the Lions Club in the F-M Area with the NDSU Lions Club consisting solely of students.
“I’ve been in the Lions Club since I was a freshman. As a club, we do a multitude of different service events. In the past, we’ve helped throw parties for people at Bethany Homes, held events at Ben Franklin Middle School, helped clean up the Red River Zoo and local parks. Other things we have done is volunteered for the North Dakota Association of the Blind and the Salvation Army.” You may also find students of the NDSU Lions Club participating in things on campus like ‘Boo’ at NDSU or Fill the Dome.
Associations that the NDSU Lions Club has raised money for are the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, Service Dogs For America, Cass County Social Services and others.
The blue porcelain toilet is the latest charitable project being put on by the F-M Area Lions Club members. The project is coined the ‘Toilet Project.’ Contrary to the name, the purpose of the event has nothing to do with toilets or the installation of them. The point of the project is to raise money for the American Diabetes Association and will run from November 18 to February 13.
The Toilet Project works by NDSU students delivering the toilet to Fargo Lions members’ lawns. The members can then choose to pay twenty dollars to have it removed or thirty dollars to have it removed as well as choosing who gets it on their lawn next.
NDSU students who have helped deliver the toilets have had their fair share of experiences. Erin elaborates, “This is only our second year, but we have had plenty of experiences during our first round. One of the Fargo Lions members was a popular guy and was nominated by multiple peers to receive the toilet. He listed his work address instead of his home address. We set out to drop off the toilet and it turns out, it was the Fargo police station. We decided not to leave it there.” She also explains, “It even hardens when it’s frozen in four feet of snow. Sometimes we’ve even had trouble locating the thing.”
“Another Fargo member hadn’t updated his address when he moved so, the toilet sat outside of an empty house for a week. One of my personal experiences was when I had to transfer the toilet by myself. It is not light and I am not strong. I was struggling along when someone’s dog ran out and chased me away. I got in my car, the dog barked at the toilet for a few minutes and then left.”
She then says, “Moving the toilet, in general, can be difficult with how heavy it is.” But, it’s all for the sake of charity and for helping people.
If people want to donate to the cause but don’t want a toilet dropped in your yard, you can contact the Service Chair, Danika Flanders, at email@example.com.