It is three days until Black Friday, six days until Cyber Monday and seven days until GivingTuesday.
While you are undoubtedly familiar with the first two days on that list, you may not be as familiar with the global day of giving. Luckily, the student callers with the Office of Development at Memorial University are.
GivingTuesday is a global movement dedicated to giving and volunteering which originally started in the United States in 2012 but now includes over 6,000 partners worldwide.
This year, GivingTuesday takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 27, and this day reminds us all to think of others and give back as we are able.
Each year, the student callers at Memorial University spend over 4,000 hours on the phone reaching out to Memorial alumni to keep them connected with our university. They call to share in their successes and find out how the Memorial experience has affected their life. They update alumni on campus developments, upcoming events and ask them to support Memorial’s students.
For the fourth year in a row, the callers are getting involved with GivingTuesday. They will be working from 6 p.m. to midnight, calling all across Canada and the United States, asking young alumni to make their first gifts to Memorial.
Anna Gillis, a nursing student and student caller, understands the value of giving back.
“Giving back is important to me because I have been fortunate enough to attend university and get an education, so I know how valuable that is,” said Ms. Gillis. “I have had such great experiences both as a student caller and a student team lead. Working for the calling program has been rewarding; I get to hear about the different careers of our alumni and know I’m helping raise money for students like myself.”
In addition to facilitating giving to Memorial, the callers have been hosting a month-long donation drive called Stuff a Stocking. Several stockings surround the homemade fireplace in the call centre, waiting to be filled with items such as toiletries, hats, scarves and mittens to donate to Choices for Youth on GivingTuesday.
The call centre has a rich history of giving, including initiatives such as handcrafting cards for seniors and decorating a Giving Tree with winter-appropriate clothing, for those who need it the most in our province.
“The calling program supports Memorial students and GivingTuesday inspires us to give back to the community as well.”
Robert Badcock, development officer, annual giving, has been leading the GivingTuesday movement with the student callers since 2015.
“Each year we take on a project to get the students in the spirit of giving,” said Mr. Badcock. “Through the calling program, our students get to hear amazing stories about life on campus and to get advice from alumni, that will help them grow as students, future alumni and members of the community. The calling program supports Memorial students and GivingTuesday inspires us to give back to the community as well.”