The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) at WCU held a bake sale on Valentine’s Day and gave all proceeds to HomeBase to help students in need. 

Below is an excerpt about HomeBase that Saydie Bean, events & projects director of SPJ, wrote for The Western Carolinian:

HomeBase, a ministry of Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina,  provides resources and support for all students. The ministry has a list of amenities such as food, housing, a clothing closet, free Wi-Fi, computers with printers, school supplies, showers, rides to appointments and a safe space for students to relax. HomeBase also has volunteers and interns to help with all services. 

To prepare for the bake sale, SPJ announced a “Call for Bakers” to students and faculty so they could sign up to bake and sell the desserts. From there, SPJ created flyers to spread the word about the bake sale. In total, nine bakers contributed a dessert. Among the nine were three communication professors; Debra Connelly, Katerina Spasovska, and Scott Eldredge. Quirky Birds Treehouse & Bistro also donated cupcakes to the bake sale. 

Moving forward, SPJ rented out HomeBase’s kitchen on Feb. 10 to bake. Then they gathered together the day before Valentine’s Day to package the orders they received. 

SPJ successfully reached its goal by surpassing the amount raised from previous bake sales. Last year, SPJ donated around $600 to HomeBase from the bake sale. 

“We ended up raising $700!” exclaimed Bean. “We will be meeting with Jim Dean and handing him the cash.”

According to Katerina Spasovska, associate professor, SPJ commonly holds a fundraiser for HomeBase once a year around a holiday before a break. Their first fundraiser was a chili cook-off at the end of 2018. This Valentine’s Day bake sale was their third fundraiser for HomeBase. 

“I hope SPJ members continue to support and report on HomeBase and raise awareness on the issues of food insecurity and homelessness among students at WCU,” said Spasovska. 

Apart from the bake sale, SPJ brought in a Smoky Mountains News reporter, Cory Vaillancourt, on Thursday, Feb. 16 for a talk on covering the war in Ukraine. During his talk he covered his experiences, coverage, war reporting, and tips. 

As far as the rest of the semester goes, SPJ plans on having different workshops, such as the Code of Ethics, AP style, and coverage of what SPJ members learned from their MediaFest22 trip in October of 2022. They also plan to have a camera workshop with Spencer Lee from the National Broadcast Society and The Western Carolinian photographer, Logan King.

For updates from SPJ and to learn more about meeting times, follow them on Instagram