Students' Global Projects Receive Support Through 'Birdies'

The Birdies for Children fund-raising initiative, a partnership with the Honda Classic golf tournament, is helping to send Palm Beach Atlantic University students on global projects near and far.

The student missions program at PBA has raised more than $66,000 so far through the Birdies for Children program, which allows participating charities to receive 100 percent of the proceeds donated through a special hyperlink plus a 10 percent matching donation courtesy of the Honda Classic. The last day to give is Feb. 26.

Palm Beach Atlantic University student Jacob Hawk volunteers with children in Bolivia during the Christmas break. PBA is a private, Christ-centered college in West Palm Beach, Fla., USA.
Palm Beach Atlantic University student Jacob Hawk volunteers with children in Bolivia during the Christmas break.

Last year, the student missions program at Palm Beach Atlantic raised a total of $91,419 through Birdies for Children. The donations support Campus Ministries, which is sponsoring global projects in such places as Africa, Europe, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. A team also is planning a spring break outreach effort in West Palm Beach in conjunction with a local church.

Students also participate in various fund-raising activities throughout the year to raise support. The total cost of the trips is estimated at around $200,000 annually.

Those returning from the trips often speak of life-changing experiences. In late December and early January, a group of six students spent two weeks in and around the remote Andean community of Sopachuy, Bolivia.

Working with a local church, the students led Vacation Bible School and other activities with neighborhood children. In one village, they met with mine workers and talked with them about their faith.

Jacob Hawk, a cross-cultural studies major, said that the trip was a confirmation for him that he is called to serve globally. “I have never felt more strongly about that than when I was there,” he said.

Looking back on the trip, dance major Anna Taylor summarized it this way: “We went to places that no one else would dare go, and just shared the love of Jesus with the people there. And we had so much fun doing so. This trip was such a blessing, and God showed all of us how much prayer does, and showed us how far a little love can go.”

This is the fourth year in which Palm Beach Atlantic University has participated in Birdies for Children. For every $20 given, donors can enter a contest to win a new 2014 Honda vehicle by guessing how many birdies will be made at The Honda Classic. Entering the contest is not required to make a donation.

The Honda Classic takes place Feb. 24-March 2 at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens.