Caring for Kenya: Weber State Athletics hosts charity drive

Weber State Athletics teamed up with Global Agents of Change to create a drop-off drive on Jan. 21. Spectators could drop off deflated balls, hygiene products and school supplies at the men’s basketball game.

Weber State Athletics also incentivized their tickets: Those who donated got 50% off lower-bowl tickets. Though this would not be a draw to season ticket holders, it gave an incentive to those who were buying tickets to donate.

“When you think about trying to make an impact, I think everyone can get on board about humanitarian trips or helping people, especially those in third-world countries,” Nick Downs, director of external relations and annual giving for the athletics department, said.

Global Agents of Change, a nonprofit group at Weber State University, and Kenya Keys have partnered up to collect donations in preparation for their trip to help build a learning center in Taru, Kenya.

Kenya Keys works to help students in Kenya get an education. They get sponsors for the students and build public learning spaces like libraries, dorms and school-houses.

“Kenya Keys is a nonprofit we have partnered with that allows people to unlock their full potential,” Jeremy Farner, associate professor of building and construction, said.

This is the 10th trip taken by Global Agents of Change. The group works with the local community and those outside the country. They started doing these international trips in 2014 to help improve the infrastructure of areas in need. Global Agents of Change has been to places like Peru, Mozambique and Thailand.

In 2019, the Global Agents of Change group worked to build a net-zero home for the Ogden Parade of Homes. A home like this when built offsets the amount of electricity needed to keep it running by producing its own electricity.

Global Agents of Change partnered with Weber State Athletics to use the men’s basketball game as one of their donation sites for their upcoming trip. There is also a donation drop box at Larry H. Miller of Riverdale.

Downs said the athletics department chose to get involved with Global Agents of Change to help support Weber State University events. As a part of the university, athletics wanted to encourage participation for the fundraiser.

“I have never been on a humanitarian trip before, but Ron and others have spoken on the impact of what a humanitarian trip can do for somebody, for your life, your perspective and the way you kind of go about your life afterward,” Downs said.