With her sunny smile, mushroom-shaped earrings and lunch of Rockets candy, Jillian Soh doesn’t seem like your average chairperson. But then, One Moment is hardly your average charity.
The new student society has two main goals: its fundraising endeavors will ultimately assist young people with HIV but even more importantly, the group aims to “provide something fun for the university population,” the 18-year-old explains. “They’re worried, they’re stressed about everything.”
Ms. Soh knows first-hand; not only is she a student, she works part-time as a freelance graphic designer and fills up the rest of her free time with One Moment as the “treasurer, secretary, and member-at-large.”
The group hopes its fresh approach to fundraising will resonate with students, who can enjoy socializing and having a good time while helping children and teens under age 15 who have HIV and AIDS.
“We don’t want to use guilt tactics to get people to give,” says Ms. Soh. “I’d rather people feel happy, and through feeling happy, make other people happy. It’s different from what other charities do. I’m sure their tactics work as well … but we wanted to try something different.”
Vice-president Fahad Kabir’s conception of the secondary goal, accessible on One Moment’s website is more bittersweet: “The second objective is to create awareness … a realization (of) one’s own mortality,” he says, adding that too many people rush through life and miss out as a result.
“Life is made up of our time on earth and a lot can happen in that time … this society is here to make sure one can take a break from life itself and, for at least one second, take a moment for oneself.”
One Moment was created by Ms. Soh, Mr. Kabir and Geoff Seto, the society’s president. All three went to Halifax West High School and are in their second year of studies at Dalhousie.
The group hosted its first fundraising event about a month ago, a benefit night at the Grawood called “Study Smarter, Party Harder.” Mr. Kabir had to write two exams the following morning but attended regardless, providing pizza and advice to several volunteers. Although One Moment aims to raise money through entertainment, such commitment and responsibility remain essential, emphasizes Ms. Soh.
Her nervousness was palpable prior to the group’s premiere event, but the charity concert went splendidly, she says, giggling at her own relief. Local bands Wheeler, Birt And The Rebuttals and Tsar-Bomba provided live music all evening, and the audience was impressive, too.
“There weren’t that many people, but a lot of them were quite generous,” says Ms. Soh, adding some showed their support by paying more than double the cover charge.
What’s up next?
“Our next big event is Quidditch!” Ms. Soh exclaims, explaining that the mock-sporting event will be based on a wizard game played in the Harry Potter books. She adds a bit vaguely, if enthusiastically: “It’s a wizard sport, played by wizards on brooms.”
Stay tuned for details on the date, time and location for the broom-riding spectacle. And, while the applied physics of Ms. Soh’s Quidditch game may be a little shaky, it’s very clear that One Moment is already off the ground.
Rebecca Schneidereit is a second-year arts student majoring in English.LINKS: One Moment Society | One Moment Society on Facebook | Quidditch is Coming to Dalhousie on Facebook
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