Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saint Mary's student ‘Red Card’ project raises over $2,000 for Haiti

WINONA, Minn. — On Monday, April 26, students in the Entrepreneurship class at Saint Mary’s University presented a check for $2,072 to Dr. Bill Cooke, a volunteer doctor with Haiti Medical Mission of Wisconsin (HMMW), center, second from right. The check represented proceeds from the sale of the “Red Card,” a local community discount card. This is the second social entrepreneurship project undertaken by business students at SMU.

Each semester, SMU students in the Entrepreneurship class are tasked with completing a social entrepreneurship project that benefits a local non-profit organization. The 20-member class is responsible for the creation and execution of a project and choosing the organization that will benefit from the profits. Last semester, students raised $600 for the Winona Area Humane Society. This semester, wanting to reach out to the rural citizens of Haiti, students chose to create a community discount card with 100 percent of the profit being donated to HMMW.

Some people asked the students why they chose not benefit a local Winona organization. Students in this class have a personal connection to the organization. A fellow Entrepreneurship student is originally from the rural town of Thiotte, Haiti. He grew up as a medical translator for doctors and nurses in this organization and provided a compelling story for his fellow students. Based in Baraboo, Wis., HMMW provides quality healthcare for the people of Thiotte and the surrounding areas. More information can be found at

The students would like to thank the Winona community for purchasing the Red Card; students and staff of SMU; the SMU Business Department; participating businesses on the card; and the three businesses who agreed to sell the card: Warpzone Video Games, Blooming Grounds and Jimmy John’s.