The season of giving

GVL / Courtesy -

GVL / Courtesy –

Giving Tuesday focuses on bringing about social change and charitable efforts during the holiday season. Looking to bring a little bit of the charitable season in to contrast Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the event focuses on giving back to those in need. For Grand Valley State University, that means giving back to students.

On Dec. 1, the global Giving Tuesday movement took place at GVSU. Over 333 donors gave a total of $26,509, which is $6,509 over GVSU’s goal of $20,000.

All the money that was collected between the GVSU campuses will go into the Student Support Fund, which helps students in case of a financial emergency.

GVSU senior Demario Bell worked as a social media advocate who made sure students knew about the cause and why the university was pushing for as many people as possible to participate in this global day of philanthropy.

“We give to so many causes outside of our Grand Valley community,” Bell said. “Being able to raise money for our very own and to make sure someone else has an opportunity to finish their studies is all too hallmark of the Grand Valley community.”

The Giving Tuesday movement uses social media as the main platform for spreading the word for change in communities. On the GVSU website, there were several images that GVSU community members could use on their own social media accounts to promote the cause.

The Johnson Center for Philanthropy at GVSU is recognized as a national founding partner of Giving Tuesday. Each year the Johnson Center makes charitable efforts to help the Grand Rapids community and raise awareness of the importance of Giving Tuesday.

Stephanie Adams, the marketing and communications manager at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, is a strong advocate of the Giving Tuesday movement.

“Our role at the Johnson Center in Giving Tuesday took place mostly internally with our staff,” Adams said. “We visited a teen center and organized and volunteered our time there.”

The center also wanted to demonstrate that there is more to being charitable than donating money.

“We wanted to show how you can donate and give to your community in multiple ways,” Adams said. “Not only did we donate funds to multiple charitable organizations, but we also donated our time and talents.”

Though this year had a great monetary turn out, university development and the campus community are working to make the event a larger success next year.

“It is important to give back on Giving Tuesday because it is a global day of giving back in which the whole world participates,” Bell said. “I would even go further to say that giving back is generally is an altruistic thing. Here is West Michigan, the community is very giving and cares for Grand Valley. I see this day as students also participating in the giving back. We’re making our mark on Grand Valley.

“Aside from the school pride we think of for being a Laker for A Lifetime, President Emeritus Don Lubbers said it best, ‘Philanthropy is in the DNA of a Laker.'”