Hippies for Hope and Fair Trade Club promote activism with engaging event

Hippies for Hope and Geneseo’s Fair Trade Club worked together with Geneseo Late Knight to put together a tie dye and chocolate-filled night on Friday Feb. 12.

The MacVittie College Union’s foyer was filled with laughter and chatter as people participated in the event and learned more about the clubs hosting it. The first 100 students at the event were provided with a shirt to tie dye and the clubs offered an array of dyes in various colors. As the attendees waited, they could try some fair trade chocolate from Divine. This sweet treat came in a variety of flavors, ranging from subtle hints of mint to a kick of orange. Fair Trade Club also offered temporary tattoos with the Divine brand logo.

“The club works to better the education of fair trade on the campus,” Fair Trade Club president senior Ben Conard said. Although the club is only two years old, the members have high goals to reach. Conard explained that through Fair Trade’s mission of “empower[ing] family farmers and workers around the world, while enriching the lives of those struggling in poverty,” Geneseo students and faculty can become more socially and eco-conscious consumers.  The group provided chocolate not only for its delicious taste, but because chocolate is a very common fair trade product.

Hippies for Hope president senior Michelle Lindner explained more about her group’s objectives for the “Tie Dye & Chocolate Tasting” event. Similar to events the group has put on in the past, this one allowed attendees to tie dye shirts and to learn more about the group.

This preview of sorts allows those who are interested to see how the group raises funds for their two major charity organizations. Hippies for Hope makes and then sells tie dye socks, shirts, bandanas and more. The funds are raised for Strong Memorial Hospital and also provide Nicaraguan women with financial support to help them pay for schooling to become nurses.

The two groups have worked together before and found this collaboration very beneficial due to both groups’ goals. The two deal with helping others through education and volunteerism. “[Both groups] think locally and globally,” Lindner said.

This is the second year the groups have put on an event like this together and they hope to make it an annual occurrence. They also expressed their enjoyment working with GLK.

“[GLK] can support us in ways we couldn’t do on our own, like through funding, their group’s coordination and they also have access to large media resources that help bring people out,” Conard said.

The event lightened the chilly Friday night with bright colors, colorful flavors and a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all who attended.