OPIRG hosts The Love Movement

Abby Hawkins, Staff Writer

Wilder Bowl was a vision of serenity and springtime celebration in the midst of the Love Movement on Sunday, May 8, an afternoon of face-painting, Moon-Bouncing and concert-going. The event featured music by student groups Nothing But Treble, the Acapelicans and Givers of Sweet Love, storytelling performances and a performance by College first-year Lizzie Conner with the Appleseed Collective –– all in the name of a revolutionary approach to grassroots activism.

At the beginning of the semester, College sophomores and co-coordinators of the Ohio Public Interest Research Group’s Hunger and Homelessness campaign Deirdre Molitor and Haley Nevers were brainstorming ways to raise campus awareness about issues of poverty in Lorain County, dissatisfied with the educational approach they had taken the previous semester. Luckily, College first-year Aaron Kozloff approached the duo with the Love Movement, an activist organization started at the University of Maryland by his high-school acquaintance and UMD student Ben Simon.

Simon’s goal for the Movement was to bring an element of fun, entertainment and social unity to what can otherwise be dry charity work, and the Hunger and Homelessness campaign saw this as a perfect solution to its fundraising rut.

“We wanted an event that would bring the College together for something that was fun, but also interactive,” said Nevers, “So this was perfect. We wanted a good way to raise awareness about the hunger and homelessness in Lorain County … and it’s hard to do that without a fun draw.”

The Hunger and Homelessness organizers invited representatives from local charity organizations, including Family Promise of Lorain County, Zion Community Development Corporation, Oberlin Community Services and Second Harvest, to provide information on volunteer opportunities for students. One primary goal behind the Love Movement was to gather the campus and community together, according to Nevers –– these organizations provided a means for students to rally and make an impact on the greater Lorain County community.

All proceeds of the event, which exceeded $250, were donated to Zion CDC, an Oberlin-based organization that weatherizes homes and provides various family social services. The Hunger and Homelessness campaign has raised approximately $925 this semester for local poverty action groups through various fundraisers and spare change drives, with a goal of reaching $1,000 by the end of the year.