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It was pigs, pigs, pigs everywhere. “I saw everyone walking with a pig,” said junior Romas Tamrakar of the red piggy banks students were carrying all over campus. Caldwell University was celebrating National Philanthropy Day on Nov. 13 with Phil the Pig, a new student initiative of students helping students. The life-size Phil the Pig mascot made the rounds visiting classes and offices, dancing and encouraging students to get on board with the campaign. “The Phil the Pig campaign is raising awareness about the importance of philanthropy on campus and around the world,” said Sharon Dwyer, director for special giving initiatives at the college. “The idea is that each student gets his or her own little piggy bank to throw change into to help the college community raise money.”

 This fall’s Phil the Pig initiative will help support the student mission trip and projects in Belize. Last spring, 11 Caldwell University students spent eight days in Punta Gorda, Belize, serving families and children and building a church. In January 2014, a group will again travel to Belize to serve the poor.

 National Philanthropy Day was filled with games, contests and chocolate give-aways. The Step club put together their own step to encourage people to give to Phil the Pig, said Alexa Chandler, president of the club. Connie Cirilo, a junior, volunteered to help out at the development table. It was an easy, fun way to raise money for Belize, a way to give back and help each other, she said, “which is what Caldwell University is all about.”

 Dwyer says the pigs will be returned on Giving Tuesday, Dec. 3, which is a national day set aside for giving back to others.  She hopes that this is the beginning of a new campus tradition.