NACOGDOCHES, Texas - It all started with a simple purple paperclip. Now, it has evolved into a charitable silent auction.

This semester, Stephen F. Austin State University students involved in an honors project in the Rusche College of Business have enhanced their business communication skills in a unique way.

Based on a childhood barter game and the One Red Paperclip project by Kyle MacDonald, SFA students traded a purple paperclip for items of increasing value.

After six trades, each student secured an item to include in a silent auction, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, May 6, in the McGee Business Building, Room 133. Items up for auction include a Keurig coffee maker, Mother's Day gift basket, Tory Burch bag and SFA wall decor. The auction is open to the public.

Event proceeds will benefit The Helping House, an organization that helps children with autism and developmental delays. Proceeds will help provide supplies and offset the cost of tuition for its students.

"Working both individually and collaboratively, SFA students learned to use a variety of communication methods and to adapt messages to different audiences," said Dr. Carol Wright, associate professor of business communication and legal studies.

As part of the project, students created social media accounts to promote their activities during the semester. This experience helped students practice critical-thinking skills as they made decisions as the project developed.

To learn more about the project, visit @SFAPurpleClip on Twitter and SFA Purple Paperclip on Facebook and Instagram.