Times of turmoil not over for Gaia House

By Ashley Zborek

Members of the Gaia House Interfaith Center have collected enough money to keep the organization going for another month.

As of last month, there was a possibility of the Gaia House being shut down because of insufficient funds, but the center’s balance is now $4,718, which is approximately $718 more than it was a month ago.

Since last month’s Board of Directors meeting, where it was announced the center lost $8,127 in fiscal year 2011, several members have either resigned or retired from their postitions.


Tabitha Ayres, the Gaia House’s interim chair facilitator who joined the Gaia House Board of Directors in an attempt to straighten out finances, said with the job recently requiring extra time and dedication, it was inevitable and unfortunate that all members would not be able remain on the board.

“The members that we do have, have really pulled together and tried to raise funds in every imaginable way,” she said.

The center was established in 1943 and serves as a place for many different organizations to meet, including its own self-titled Registered Student Organization. The center is a meeting place for people of many faiths, traditions and cultures, according to its website.

Ayres said even though enough money was raised to last another month, there is still concern about making it through the semester.

“We have pulled money from small fundraisers and private donations, and now we have the plans for our big money-making events, so our success — really everything — depends on how those go,” she said.

The Gaia House plans to hold an event March 23 called “Spring into Action,” which E. Wilson, Gaia House board member and director of the event, said is meant to be a large fundraising party.

“We hope to double our account balance with this event. There will be five local bands playing and food and dancing for everyone,” she said.


The Gaia House anticipates a $1,000 setback later this month because of its tax status.

Wilson said the main reason the Gaia House’s situation has improved is because it was exposed.

“When people found out that we were in deep trouble, they were willing to make that $2 donation, or stop by and see how we were doing,” she said. “It’s good to know the community cares.”

Treesong, Gaia House employee, said the Gaia House’s current fiscal situation has been eye-opening.

“Everyone in the Gaia House community has really come together. This was really a sink or swim situation, and we are doing everything we can to keep the Gaia House alive,” he said.

The Gaia House will be offering memberships and opening a café next week, where anyone can come in for a cup of coffee or tea.