UT Lions Club sells succulents in dinosaur-shaped pots to raise money for refugees

Lynn Vo

In a fund-raiser to benefit refugees, the UT Lions Club sold succulents in handmade dinosaur-shaped pots that sold out within an hour. 

The club sold its entire supply of 100 succulents. Originally, it planned to sell the 100 throughout the week but did not expect it to sell out in one day, let alone so quickly, said Morton Payne, undeclared freshman and club member.

Katherine Chan, international relations and global studies senior, said the club holds fund-raisers annually to raise money for charities of its choosing. According to Chan, the club previously had a successful fund-raiser selling succulents, but she was overwhelmed by the energetic response this time around.

“The funds from the first fund-raiser last semester went to Syrian refugees via the [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees],” said Chan, head of the club’s international relations special committee. “For this fund-raiser, we are donating proceeds to Refugee Services of Texas in order to further help them to aid refugees here in need of guidance and comfort.” 

Refugee Services of Texas provides services, resources, education and guidance for refugees to help them thrive in their new communities. 

Kevin Gwen, actuarial science sophomore and chair of the international relations special committee, said the club continues to partner with RST because of its wide and valuable impact.

“The organization helps refugees integrate into local communities with services like counseling and wellness or financial aid,” Gwen said. “This was pretty important to us because we feel it is our responsibility as an international relations committee to help refugees settle and readjust.”

Payne said the committee set a goal to fund-raise $1,500 for RST this semester, and the club made nearly half of that. It plans to sell more succulents in the future by expanding the varieties of dinosaurs and possibly including Pokémon-themed succulents, Payne said.  

Biology sophomore Nghi Truong said she was glad she bought a succulent because of how quickly they sold out.

“There were so many cute ones,” Truong said. “I had trouble picking ­— I wanted them all!”

Advertising junior Ilana Grabarnik said the succulents sold out before she got to the event.

“I hope if they ever decide to do this again, they bring more,” Grabarnik said.