Boston University: thinking outside the mailbox

Project Mailbox donation box on Commonwealth Avenue.

Since last year, Project Mailbox has collected pocket change from Boston University students in an effort to make a big difference in Boston, throughout the U.S., and the world.

The non-profit, started by two Boston University alums, started in October 2011, when Kaylee Dombrowski and Nick Dougherty put a plan into action that spawned from the simple idea that a little change can really add up.

The hope was that if each of the 16,000 undergraduate students at Boston University put a quarter a month into the group’s red and white mailbox, more than $4,000 could be raised for charity.

While Project Mailbox is not quite there yet, it has managed to send hundreds of dollars each month to seven different charities.

“Most of the time it’s just change,” Dougherty said, adding that every now and then they’ll open their cast-iron mailbox to find actual paper money or even checks. “But most of the time its hundreds and hundreds of pennies. But I don’t care about that. I’m just really excited that maybe 250 people put 250 coins in the box. That, for me, is the special part — that they’re really going out of their way to put change in the box.”

Each month, nominations are submitted to select the charity of the month, which alternates between local and international charities. Dombrowski explains this factor is important to “ensure equal opportunity for the chapter to serve its immediate and global community.”

At the monthly meetings, members of the Boston University community come together to listen to the nominations and vote for the next month’s charity.

Since its launch, Project Mailbox has raised more than $2,700 in pocket change, which averages at around $225 each month.

“I think it’s been pretty successful given how new we are. We are coming up on just one year,” said Dombrowski.

Organizers soon hope to launch other chapters in Boston-area campuses, which means more mailboxes.

“I know (Boston University). I’m not going to know what Boston College culture is like, or Harvard culture,” Dougherty said. Only students from those campuses will know what their students will respond to. We don’t want (those mailboxes) to stick out. Ours is red and white because those are the (Boston University) colors. It just needs to be locked, secured, bolted down.”

More information is available on the Project Mailbox Facebook page and Twitter account (@ProjectMailbox).



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

Movies

Review: 'The Congress' is a crazy, unwieldy sci-fi…

Robin Wright is the center of gravity in "The Congress," which turns from a live-action Hollywood satire into an animated spectacular on a downer future.

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.

Education

Does the school day start too early?

As thousands of high schoolers get ready to head back to class, health experts say it may be time to push back the start of…

Style

Fall 2014 trend: lilac

Push those gray and black sweaters aside and make room for blush and lilac.