Freshman take unique approach in fundraising for trip

Every weekend, two freshmen grab their George Foreman grill and bundle up in multiple pairs of sweatpants to sell grilled cheese.

Katie Simmons and Kayla Hernandez, sit outside on Beechwood Avenue, making sandwiches for passersby for $1. They are raising money for a volunteer trip to Nicaragua.

To prepare, Simmons and Hernandez buy six loaves of bread, 72 slices of cheese and ready-to-cook bacon — they will sell the sandwiches with meat for a little extra.

The girls started selling grilled cheese three weeks ago and have raised around $300, after the cost of the materials.

In addition, they got a square credit card reader from the Apple store for free earlier this week.

Simmons, a speech pathology major, said they are determined to raise the $2,500 needed for each of them to go on the trip in May. She said she even went out one weekend dressed in footie pajamas.

The two have already sent a $450 deposit ensuring their spots on the trip.

“We got together that night, and we were like, ‘We’re going to make it; this is going to happen,’” Simmons said. “‘We’re going to raise the money. We’re in this until the end. We’re going to do whatever it takes to raise all the money we need.’ Ever since then, we’ve been devoted to raising the money.”

The two will go to Nicaragua through Growth International Volunteer Excursions, an organization that encourages “sustainable change worldwide,” according to its website. 

While there, Simmons and Hernandez will work with the community — specifically children — and will build schools. The second week, they will travel the country.

Although Hernandez said her major is undecided, she is considering Spanish and said this trip will benefit her language skills. 

Simmons and Hernandez said they chose Beechwood Avenue to set up their grilled cheese stand because of the party scene in the area. They usually set up in front of a certain house because they know the people living there.

“We usually get the people who are going to the party and then everyone who’s leaving the party, because they’re all hungry,” Simmons said.

The girls use the Twitter account @BSUcheesygirls to promote their business, called K&K Grilled Cheese, and to tell their followers where they will be that weekend. Hernandez said she wished they had more followers.

“Some people know us and some people don’t,” she said. “I think more people recognize us at night than they do during the day.”

Simmons and Hernandez agreed the first weekend was their busiest.

The two make the grilled cheese on the spot, sometimes making four sandwiches at a time.

“People like it ready and fresh and hot right there,” Simmons said. “Especially when it’s cold out — they like to have the hot sandwiches. They hold it up to their faces.”

Hernandez said she doesn’t mind the cold when they are busy, especially because cooking the sandwiches keeps her warm.

When the weather gets warmer, Simmons said they are considering doing car washes to raise money for their trip.

“Every weekend, we haven’t been going out with our friends to parties; we’ve been selling grilled cheese every weekend,” she said. “It’s just something that we’re really devoted to getting done.”


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