Late Fundraiser Keeps Student in College

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  1. TxEMTP69

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    http://news.aol.com/philanthropy/ar...icle/facebook-fundraiser-saves-college/675645

    (Sept. 21) - A North Carolina student facing a deadline to make a $5,100 tuition payment or leave school received the full amount in less than a day -- thanks to an online campaign led by a campus minister.
    Demorris Davis, 22, is entering his senior year at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. N.C., thanks largely to the intervention of Jason Speier, who until recently oversaw THRIVE, a campus ministry for nearby Webster Baptist Church.
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    Speier met Davis two years ago through outreach activities and maintained a friendship with the Charlotte native.
    However, it wasn't until the evening of Sept. 3 that the minister learned his friend owed the university $5,100 due to a mix-up involving his financial aid information. Davis had to pay the money by the following day or head home.
    "Nobody knew," Speier said. "He didn't tell anybody."
    Immediately, the minister turned to the elaborate online network that he uses to support and disseminate information concerning his ministry. He made a passionate appeal for help through Facebook and his own blog. He urged friends to make donations either through his PayPal account or direct payments to the school's registrar's office on Davis' behalf. Donors were asked to post their giving amounts on the THRIVE Facebook page.
    Speier described his desire to help in spiritual terms.
    "Demorris had a debt that he couldn't pay so we had to help," said Speier. "We had a debt that we couldn't pay so Jesus had to pay it."
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    Good Samaritans

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    Demorris Davis / Jason Speiers
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    Demorris Davis, left, a student at Western Carolina University, had packed his bags to leave school because he couldn't meet a $5,000 tuition payment until an online donor campaign started by friendly minister Jason Speier, right, produced the total less than a day from the deadline

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    Good Samaritans
    Demorris Davis, left, a student at Western Carolina University, had packed his bags to leave school because he couldn't meet a $5,000 tuition payment until an online donor campaign started by friendly minister Jason Speier, right, produced the total less than a day from the deadline
    Demorris Davis / Jason Speiers
    Demorris Davis / Jason Speiers







    Davis had gone to catch a Greyhound bus that evening for a return trip home for good when he got a call from Speier urging him to come back to college because help was on the way. That night, in a move that reinforced Speier's belief in Davis' character, the student gave a pair of his shoes to a homeless man at the bus stop.
    Speier admitted that he didn't think the whole amount could be raised in such a short period of time but help came in some unexpected forms.
    "I thought we would have larger donors but we got a lot of small donations," said Speier, who said most of the individual gifts were no higher than $200.
    By 3 p.m. on deadline day, Davis was square with WCU, thanks to faith and the power of online communication. The recipient thanked his benefactors in a video posted on the THRIVE page.
    "Every person has influence on a certain amount of people," said Speier. "We just wanted to use the influence to do something good
     


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