The United Way of Porter County Pepsi Refresh Project

by Karl Tatgenhorst on June 22, 2010

The Valparaiso University softball team has been co-chairing a major charity activity in Northwest Indiana alongside the United Way of Porter County since 2003. This program called “I need a hug” set out to distribute stuffed animals to schools to use in lieu of hugging (hands off policies in schools). The students embraced the program and within a few years it was a living functioning entity and began to find truly creative ways to raise funds, such as the Pepsi Refresh Project.

The “Reading Buddies” program was given birth by the “I Need a Hug“project . The project aims to improve reading scores by using the companionship of stuffed animals to encourage kids to read as was demonstrated by a UC DavisĀ research project that showed significant improvement in students that “read to dogs”. The kids have someone to read to and that someone is not critical of how they read, this allowed them to read more freely and confidently. The “Reading Buddies” goal with Pepsi Refresh is to raise $25K through community interaction and voting, this will continue until June 30th. Currently, the project is ranked 98th so your’ vote is needed and appreciated.

About the author

Karl Tatgenhorst wrote 31 articles on this blog.

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