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Good deeds just a mouse click away

Oct. 19, 2000

College generation gives virtual help

By ALLISON PRESLEY

Reporter

By clicking a button on a Web site, students can eliminate 5 pounds of carbon dioxide from the environment, donate three cups of food to hungry children or give a cent to cancer research. Baylor personalities believe this sort of cost-free and instant donation is changing the face of volunteerism.

Jimmy Dorrell, a Baylor lecturer and executive director of Mission Waco, says this sort of Web donation signifies a trend of the current college generation to research important issues.

Dorrell said students who actually donate their time to charity organizations, rather than donating on the Web, put in an 'emotional investment.'

Jessica Truglio, coordinator of community service at Baylor, said she agrees that this sort of opportunity changes the idea of charity, although it is still volunteerism.

'It's a different type of volunteerism,' she said. 'It's not necessarily giving of yourself.'

The City of Hope Web site is linked to a site that allows visitors to contribute one-half a cent daily to cancer research, bone marrow transplants and other medical research.

Bonnie Osborn of City of Hope said this sort of Internet tool makes students aware of charitable needs.

'It is a way of allowing [students] the opportunity to do something when many of them may not have the cash,' she said.

Osborn said she feels that students who become aware of needs at this point in their lives may be more willing to donate later in life when they are more financially stable.

The Angel Foundation, a Web site that allows users to help hungry children, offers more donation opportunities to those who bid on trips to Lake Tahoe or Oakland Raiders football tickets. All of the profits from these packages go to the organization.

The Kids AIDS Web site tells users that with each click of the button, 20 seconds of care is given to a child inflicted with AIDS. This site also offers an opportunity to donate more by shopping on-line.

Such site sponsors as Discover, Land's End and USJobs.com pay for donations on such charity Web sites as these.

Jacqueline Dunbar, a senior social work major from Longview, said she volunteers approximately eight hours a week through various classes. Dunbar said this sort of philanthropic giving is useful for people who don't have the time to go into the community and volunteer.

'Anything is better that nothing,' she said.

Students interested in researching Web donation sites can visit quickdonations.com for a list of organizations.