Non-profit organization absorbed into BGSU’s Net Impact chapter

Kristen Tomins and Kristen Tomins

The non-profit organization Falling Whistles was recently absorbed into the University’s Net Impact chapter.

Falling Whistles is a non-profit organization that is heavily focused on violence taking place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The organization builds advocates around the world to promote peace in Congo, as well as make the public aware of the aggression in the country.

Net Impact shows videos of different charities and organizations, and decided to show one about the Falling Whistles organization at one particular meeting. Chelsea Burbridge, now the president of Net Impact, said after viewing the video, she was given a project to have the founder of Falling Whistles come speak to Net Impact.

Burbridge said she connected with the founder, Sean Carasso, very well and was able to keep in touch with him even after his presentation to Net Impact.

“I found I wanted to do more with Falling Whistles; it was something I was really passionate about,” said Burbridge.

She said Carasso invited her to Falling Whistles’ first retreat, called The August Generation. Burbridge said she, among 50 other people, gathered for three days in August of 2013 and learned more about the organization, how to inspire others to become advocates and ultimately help promote peace in the world.

She said the societies had to be made up of at least five dedicated people, who were not only interested in advocating for Congo, but also other conflicts occurring in the world.

Upon her return that fall, Burbridge said she continued to attend Net Impact’s individual meetings while also hosting her Falling Whistles meetings. However, she said Net Impact’s members were starting to dwindle down.

According to Lance Kruse, former President of Net Impact, many organizations came to Net Impact to collaborate on different projects and promote all of their individual ideas.

“We had a lot of people come in, but then when they would leave they took their respective groups with them,” said Kruse.

Net Impact has collaborated with many other organizations, such as Environmental Action Group, on campus to help promote corporate responsibility through sustainability projects and events that create awareness about social problems.

He said Net Impact started to lose sight of a main mission and wanted to give their complete support to Falling Whistles.

“[Net Impact] wanted to make [Falling Whistles] as big and successful as we possibly could,” said Kruse. “It gave us guidance and a clear goal.”

Burbridge said she believes Net Impact’s focus will still be promoting corporate responsibility and helping organizations promote their cause through a business aspect.

“We’re trying to help businesses be ethical,” she said.

Net Impact’s goal to promote peace is done in a peaceful way, according to Burbridge.

“We’re not protestors; we want to send our message in a way that is peaceful to others,” she said. “During our events we try to do happier activities to stay positive.”

The organization makes an effort to bring awareness to topics that are not so light-hearted, said Burbridge.

Having events and activities that are fun while still promoting a strong message is something junior Justin Gramley said he enjoys about being part of the organization.

“It’s an organization that’s both fun and passionate,” he said. “I like that we try to do more activities than just raise money for a cause; it creates a community.”

Burbridge said the organization is continuing their fun activities by putting together a talent show that will be hosted April 2 in the multipurpose room of the Union. Auditions for the show are March 19 from 7:30-10 p.m. in room 306. Auditions are open to all students of any major.