FAIRBORN — Wright State University students had the opportunity to reflect on what they are thankful for regarding their education and donate Raiderbucks to one of the 1,600 foundations found on campus as part of its Giving Tuesday event.
Organizers hoped to instill a philanthropist attitude on campus.
“Wright State has definitely given me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had elsewhere,” Student Ariel Kramer of Beavercreek said. “I’m really glad to be a part of the community and student body.”
The event, which was held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, began with students writing thank you messages on white boards in relation to how their education was made possible.
“They’re writing messages about what made their Wright State education a reality,” Assistant Director Nicole Craw of alumni marketing and communications said. “Whether that’s parents, donors, a grant, friends, a job — we think that’s important.”
They would then take a photo in front of the Rise. Shine. inspiration wall with their messages, which were shared across WSU’s social media platforms.
Students were then asked to step into a money machine, which included $1,000 Raiderbucks donated by the Office of Student Affairs, where they had 30 seconds to grab as much of the funds as they could. Raiderbucks would later be counted and converted to an American dollar amount, and given to a foundation of their choice.
“It’s teaching them philanthropy, but they’re not actually using their dollars,” Director of Annual Giving Amy Jones said.
In conjunction with Giving Tuesday, WSU hosted a blitzed online campaign in which they asked its alumni, friends and previous donors to give funds with the goal of raising $7,500. In its first year, the campaign aimed to raise $2,000; last year, its goal was $5,000. As of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, the campaign had raised about $2,200.
“It’s a great way to … tell our alumni and friends that our students wouldn’t be where they are without your important dollars,” Craw said. “We think it’s important to put that message out, and with this [Giving Tuesday] event, we tie our students in as well.”
The Rise. Shine. campaign began in the fall months of 2014, and will conclude next year. It aims to raise $150 million to go toward its three tiers, including individuals, innovations and environment, and at least $75 million, or half of what’s raised, to fund scholarships.
“We’re really trying to pump up the resources for our students,” Jones said.
Some of the foundations included the Friendship Food Pantry, which is the campus’s own food pantry that goes toward supporting individuals in need; the Rise. Shine. Scholarship Fund; the Graduation Fund, which assists students who are nearing graduation but may need financial help in order to complete their education and the Lillie P. Howard Student Need-Based Fund, which goes toward students in need who are facing crisis or emergency circumstances.
“Wright State has definitely given back to its students and because of that it’s always nice to say thank you for any help you can get,” Student Abby Schaar of Beavercreek said.
Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532, or by following her on Twitter by searching for @wnvickers. For more content online, visit our website or like our Facebook page.