At the Homecoming football game this year, game day visitors can expect to see several large milk jugs, passed around the Coliseum by volunteers to collect donations to send local elementary school students to camp.
The fundraiser is an annual tradition of Troy Camp, one of USC’s oldest and largest student-run philanthropic organizations, which provides long-term mentorship for students in South Los Angeles.
All donations made during the fundraiser, known as Pass the Can, are used to help Troy Camp raise the funds necessary to host its annual summer camp for more than 200 elementary school students from 20 different schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
While the Pass the Can fundraiser goes on, Troy Camp also hosts a kids’ event at the game for the 200 students that went to camp the previous summer.
Andrew Sonnabend, executive director of fundraising for Troy Camp, said that events like this fundraiser help foster long-term mentorship in the students that attended camp, and it helps them to reconnect with their friends and counselors from last year’s camp.
“Pass the Can has been a crucial part of the USC community for many years,” Sonnabend said. “For a whole football game, we are able to raise funds to allow local students to be kids. Past Pass the Can directors always say their best time at the event is standing on the field looking around seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids who are going to their first football game and seeing a whole crowd of USC students, alumni and fans who are taking their time to support these students.”
Sonnabend also emphasized the importance of hosting events to fundraise for local students to have the opportunity to be part of the Trojan Family.
“The mission of this event is to not only raise funds for campers to attend camp, but we also take many campers to their first football game and we act as a bridge between the USC community and the local community,” Sonnabend said.
Kelly Pascual, a member of Troy Camp, attended the organization’s summer camp as an elementary schooler and said that she appreciates the chance to be part of the organization as a college student.
“Pass the Can is a great fundraiser that raises money to send kids to camp and has kids at the event that are able to watch the game as well,” Pascual said. “Having been in Troy Camp in elementary school, I know the impact it had on the kids that go through the program because of the dedication of the counselors.”
Pass the Can will take place during the USC vs. Oregon Homecoming game on Nov. 5. Volunteers will receive a free t-shirt, Yogurtland coupon and a game ticket. Volunteers can sign up for the event on Troy Camp’s website.