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Regency Beauty Institute’s Jacksonville-Orange Park, FL campus spent the month of January collecting food, beauty products and money to donate to Quigley House, a local prevention and support center for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“Most of these women and children have to leave their homes unexpectedly and have nothing with them when they come to the shelter,” said campus manager Nancy W.

Quigley House lets Regency know what the shelter needs most. The campus then purchases and donates the requested items. This ensures the center gets exactly what residents need.

One year the campus raised money for pots and pans. Another year they focused on children’s toys. This year the cosmetology school was asked to focus on beauty and hygiene products, such as shampoo, makeup, lotion and soap.

The student council chose to host a penny wars competition to raise money for the donation.

“We split up into four teams,” said student council president Traci B. “It’s really competitive which makes it fun.”

The teams of students, each lead by an educator, try to collect the most pennies. Silver coins are counted against the team totals, so students can try to sabotage other teams by putting nickels, dimes and quarters in the competition’s jars. The competitive spirit helped motivate the students and added excitement to the fundraiser, but in the end everyone was working towards the same goal. All the money collected at the end of the month was used to purchase items for the shelter.

“It helps us feel like we get to be involved in an important organization,” added Vanessa I., student council vice president.

The shelter is also unique because it has added an on-site kennel for pets. Quigley House feels it’s important for women to be able to feel safe with their pets if they seek help at the shelter. Even when there are only a few animals at the center, the campus makes sure to donate dog and cat food so the pets are well fed, said performance floor manager Carolyn T.  “It just kind of tugs at our hearts.”

The Quigley House has been the focus of campus fundraisers in the past and will continue to be in years to come. The campus is already working on a bake sale to keep the donations for the center flowing.

“For us, it’s nice to know we are raising money for a good cause,” Traci said.

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