Engineers raise funds for good cause

By: Analia Fiestas / Staff Writer

Enjoying a meal with friends at a local Chili’s can be an easy way for students to contribute to a humanitarian cause.

Engineers Without Borders, a national organization that aids the underprivileged around the world, will be hosting a fundraiser at a select Chili’s on March 29 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Any customer that visits the restaurant that day can benefit EWB because a portion of each patron’s paycheck will go to the organization.

EWB is a non-profit humanitarian organization that partners with developing communities worldwide through engineering projects that involve and train engineering students.  The organization completes public engineering work assignments that focus on sustainable water sanitation.

“Our organization loves to work with water. For example, if communities are not receiving clean water or if they do not have a good and reliable water system then that is when EWB steps in,” said Andrew Hipolito, member of both the hydrology and fundraising team at EWB.

Members from EWB are currently reconstructing part of Costa Rica’s water supply—the reason for the Chili’s fundraiser.

According to Hipolito, Costa Rica obtains their main water supply from spring rains.  In order for the water to spread to the villages, spring boxes trap the water.  These boxes have undergone weather damage and the water is often contaminated from animals that climb up on them.

Hipolito explained that that the spring boxes have been rebuilt, and the fundraiser money will aid the construction of new storage tanks. During the summer, EWB will return to Costa Rica to build the 100 cubic-meters tanks.

“On our first trip to Costa Rica, we scouted the area, surveyed everything to see in what kind of situation they were at. On our second trip, we rebuilt their spring boxes. We sealed them from the back so that the residents could get clean drinking water,” said Hipolito.

The organization is hoping that the Chili’s fundraiser attracts many donations to go towards the almost $25,000 total amount.  Any customers interested in giving money to EWB must inform the restaurant’s staff that their check should go to the fundraiser.

“When people have dinner at Chili’s and they tell the manager that they’re there on behalf of FIU’s EWB, ten percent of the checks is given to us,” said Hipolito.

“The people at Costa Rica use a lot of water and unfortunately, they do not receive a large supply of water. The storage tanks will supply the residents with water during the dry seasons,” said Hipolito.

The idea for the fundraiser came from other fundraising organizations. United Way, for example, selected different restaurants for interested donors to have a good meal while contributing to the organization.

There will be a meeting with information on the project prior to the fundraiser open to anyone interested. It will take place the same day of the fundraiser at 5:00 p.m. in the Civil Engineering department’s meeting room of the Engineering building.

Hipolito explained that students could also donate in different ways. Interested donors can go to, and follow the instructions for donations or mail a check to the engineering campus under the name of “Engineers Without Borders – FIU.”

Chili’s, located on 87 NW. 13 Terrace, will welcome any students who are interested in attending the fundraiser.


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