One Northern Kentucky University student has taken the initiative to raise money for a local family struck by tragedy. But after a month of open donations, the outcome is “disappointing.”
Senior elementary education major and resident assistant Aaron Howell is behind the continuous campuswide fundraiser, “Cents for Sims,” to benefit the late NKU police officer Roy Sims, but the donations haven’t been as plentiful as he had hoped.
“As a whole, I have been really disappointed,” Howell said. “I had my goals set very high; I just feel like as a campus we could have done a lot more than what we are right now.”
Since Sept. 5, Howell said he has collected about $200.
Howell set up a bank account with US Bank where anyone can donate any amount, at any time. However, the main part of the fundraiser is a coin drive in the residential village.
At every front desk in the residential village, students can drop off extra change that directly benefits Sims’ family.
To contribute to the fund, Howell also began holding a weekly bake sale in Norse Commons where all proceeds go to Cents for Sims.
According to Howell, if every student at NKU donated $1 to Cents for Sims, he would collect enough money to pay for two of Sims’ children to attend college.
“I don’t think a dollar is asking too much,” he said.
Sims died Aug. 5 from injuries he sustained in a traffic accident while leading a funeral procession in Montgomery, Ohio.
On campus, Sims was the University Housing liaison, so Howell spent a lot of time with him during the last year.
“He was at our staff meetings; he liked to talk a lot,” Howell said. “I knew there was something I had to do, I didn’t know what it was going to be but I know that he does have a family so I had to do something.”
The decision to hold the fundraiser was second nature to Howell.
“I come from a family where we always give … I grew up helping people,” Howell said. “When I heard about this, there wasn’t a question about what I had to do.”
Cents for Sims will continue formally until Oct. 31. In early November, Howell also plans to hold a dinner event sponsored by University Housing where he will present the donations to Sims’ family.
The date is not set, but Howell said it will be an RSVP event, and all attendees will have to dress formally.
To continue raising money before Oct. 31, Howell plans to set up a booth Oct. 27 at the Callahan Hall Haunted House.
He is also setting up a Dining to Donate event with Applebee’s and possibly City Barbecue in Florence.
Through the rest of the year, Howell said he will plan other fundraising events to continue helping Sims’ family.
For more information or to make fundraising event suggestions, find “Cents for Sims” on Facebook where Howell updates users on events and total money raised or contact Howell directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.