The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV’s Student Philanthropy Week gives back to campus community

GVL | Aida Dennis

Grand Valley State University held its first Student Philanthropy Week from Oct. 9 to 16 with a variety of events throughout the week involving student organizations. 

Student Philanthropy Week was hosted by the University Development Office. Throughout the week there was many events to educate students about philanthropy.

“We are doing tons of hands-on activities to educate students about how to give back to Grand Valley through time, talent or treasure. It’s all about educating students about how they can give back their time, now, as a student,” Katrina Begrow, the Annual Giving Manager of Campus Philanthropy said.

Additionally, the donations raised throughout Student Philanthropy Week directly supported four of GVSU’s student organizations: Beekeeping Club, Bowling Club, Rowing Club and Delta Tau Delta. Donations to these organizations aimed to help the clubs reach their individual goals and further grow on campus. By spotlighting these individual clubs, organizers of Student Philanthropy Week hoped to highlight how the GVSU community can continue to give back to itself.

President of the Beekeeper’s Club Vivian Gaskin said the week helped to raise awareness for programs on campus people may not typically know about.

“The sustainability department here is pretty small and we typically don’t get a lot of recognition, so it’s been nice to be able to network and get our name out there,” Gaskin said. 

Social Media Coordinator for the Beekeepers Club Aida Dennis said Student Philanthropy Week positively impacts the club. She said members of the Beekeepers Club feel “so special to be selected by the university.”

“It (Student Philanthropy Week) not only helps us raise money to keep tending to our lovely ladies in the hives or to buy new bee boxes, but it just helps spread the word about who we are and what we do,” Dennis said. 

One event held during the week was “Get the Scoop on Philanthropy,” which took place on Oct. 9 in the Kirkhof Center. Each student organization that participated had its own table in the lobby where they could share information about Philanthropy Week and its organization. Free ice cream was also given to anyone interested.

Another featured event during the week was the Campus Clean Up on Oct. 10. Students checked in at Kleiner Commons where they got a pair of gloves, a trash bag and a map of campus that showed where clean up was needed. Once the materials and information were given, students walked around and picked up trash to give back to the campus environment.

Allison Ribick, a GVSU alumna, attended the Campus Clean Up event. Ribick wanted to contribute to the current student body and show her support for the community she once lived in.

“Donating your time and volunteering is a good alternative if you can’t make a financial gift,” Ribick said. “I think student philanthropy week is really important for students to understand the different types of philanthropy and how to help their campus through many ways of volunteering.”

Another event during Student Philanthropy Week was the “Cash Cart” event that took place on Oct. 11. The University Development Office drove around campus in golf carts to give students a ride to class while quizzing them on philanthropy. Winners got to decide which student organization got an extra monetary donation. 

Another activity called “Thanks a Bunch Scavenger Hunt” took place on Oct. 12 and involved students finding hidden teddy bears around campus. Photos of the teddy bears in their hidden spots were shared on the GVSU Instagram stories. Those who found the bear got to keep the stuffed animal as well and chose which student organization got an extra donation. 

The final event of the week “Laker Photo Collage Challenge” took place on Friday, Oct. 13 in Kirkhof Center. Students could donate to their favorite organization in exchange for a Polaroid picture that they could pin on a mural that spelled out ‘GVSU.’ The students also had the opportunity to spin a wheel to win a free picture among other prizes. 

GVSU librarian and alum Cayla Dwyer hoped the week’s events allowed students to engage with their community and potentially take the involvement beyond the Student Philanthropy Week.

“I think it’s important to participate in your community however that naturally occurs to you,” Dwyer said. “To me, it’s really about the community building to make a better place for yourself and others.”

Begrow said the University Development office hopes that Student Philanthropy Week will “turn into a tradition year after year.”

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