FUNdraiser Spotlight: Full Sail University

Last fall, Debbie Mills was a graduate student in Rollins College’s executive MBA program when she felt a big tug at her heart. During the semester, her class toured and interviewed local executives at all sorts of businesses, local stores, large corporations and non-profit organizations, including Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

During Dave Krepcho’s presentation and tour of the Orlando distribution center, Debbie learned more about the impact that hunger relief organizations play in the lives of families on a daily basis and especially after disastrous hurricanes, like Harvey, Irma and Maria.

“I had been watching the devastation on TV and there were so many evacuees arriving in Orlando every day… I knew I had to do something,” she recalls.

She went back to her office at Full Sail University and penned a letter to the entire campus calling on their support of a fundraiser to feed hungry families for the holidays. On her tour, Debbie learned that for every $1 donated to the food bank that kids, families and seniors in need could provide $9 worth of groceries. She used this point to encourage different departments to forgo their toy collections or other holiday projects and instead participate in a virtual food drive.

Virtual food drives are simply online food drives. Using a simple, web-based tool, individuals or organizations can collect financial donations for Second Harvest to serve more clients more efficiently than a traditional food drive.

Debbie recruited her co-worker Lisa Necrason to help her run the virtual food drive. They divided the campus into two ultra-competitive teams. Over the course of six weeks, Debbie and Lisa would nudge their teams with reminders to set aside a few dollars before paydays and impact stories from the Second Harvest blog.

In the end, Debbie’s team raised more funds but together Full Sail University employees donated $3,601 to help provide hope for the holidays for Central Florida kids, families and neighbors in need.

You can turn your passion for fighting hunger into a FUNdraiser. Learn more at

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