‘Poor’ college student a top fundraiser for Down for the Challenge rappelling event

Jul 16, 2021

Liza Pirjevec is a self-proclaimed “poor college student.” But her lack of cash isn’t stopping her from raising lots of money to fight homelessness.

Liza, 20, is participating in The Salvation Army’s Down for the Challenge fundraising event at Mall of America, where on Sept. 18 she will join hundreds of people in rappelling down a 14-story building. 

As of July 16, Liza has already raised nearly $1,600 for Salvation Army housing and homelessness-prevention programs. Although most of her personal friends have not been able to donate, she has overcome the obstacle by soliciting those with deeper pockets.  

“My mom gave me permission to work her friends and they have come through for me,” said Liza, a college junior.

This is not the first time Liza has stepped up to help others. She has volunteered for The Salvation Army several times in the past, including distributing food at the Eastside Salvation Army in St. Paul, and distributing Christmas presents for families in need (pictured).

“In my life I have been lucky,” Liza said. “I’ve been to countries where I’ve seen little kids begging on the streets. Seeing that sort of thing makes you understand how important it is to give back to others.”

Liza first heard about Down for the Challenge accidentally, when she overheard a Facebook video her mother was watching.

“My mom showed it to me and I knew I wanted to sign up,” Liza said. “I thought it would be fun.”

Fun for Liza, but maybe not for her mom.

“My mom is going to be so scared that she won’t even be able to watch,” Liza said with a laugh. “But I feel confident.”

Liza has never rappelled before and can’t wait for the experience.

“I’ve gone rock climbing, but that is nowhere near a 14-story building,” she said. “I’m excited to do something that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Down for the Challenge participants who raise or donate at least $1,000 are eligible to rappel. Prizes are available for top fundraisers, including a new Go Pro video camera for those who raise or donate at least $1,500. 

Are you Down for the Challenge? Be among hundreds of people to rappel down a 14-story building at Mall of America. All proceeds fund local Salvation Army housing and homelessness-prevention programs. Learn more or register at DownForTheChallenge.com

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