UBCO hosts virtual Giving Day

UBC Okanagan Heat Men's Rugby team is one of the fundraising projects for Giving Day. An additional $500 will be unlocked when a specific challenge is completed.

UBC Okanagan Heat Men’s Rugby team is one of the fundraising projects for Giving Day. An additional $500 will be unlocked when a specific challenge is completed.

Fast-paced 24-hour event includes several fundraising challenges

Students helping students is a common theme at UBC Okanagan.

After an entire year of remotely delivered classes, a significant contribution from the UBC Students’ Union Okanagan (UBCSUO) demonstrates how these students have each other’s backs.

Last week, UBCSUO president Ali Poostizadeh announced it has set aside a major contribution to UBCO’s new Meal Share Program. The UBC Okanagan Meal Share Program helps students buy hot meals at campus outlets.

In 2020, an on-campus research project determined that more than 40 per cent of undergraduate students identified themselves as food insecure, often going hungry.

“Our organization recognizes the immense impact that COVID-19 has had on our student body, and know it has significantly exacerbated food insecurity among our membership. Knowing this, we couldn’t stand by and not help our fellow students,” says Poostizadeh. “Food insecurity deeply affects our students, from taking a toll on their mental health to severely impacting their academic performance. We are facing enough challenges, and access to food shouldn’t be one of them.”

The contribution comes as the campus gears up for Giving Day-an annual fundraising event filled with challenges, goals and milestones. As money is raised for a certain cause, more can be unlocked when a target is reached. In fact, the UBCSUO office is hoping people will join them in supporting the Meal Share Program and is pledging to match donations three to one, up to a total of $30,000.

“Our contribution will alleviate these burdens for many students, but we need the help of our community to ensure we reach this goal,” he adds. “Our members are facing unprecedented challenges right now, and with the support of our community we know we can help our students thrive. “

Giving Day lasts just 24 hours and is a frenzy of activities and challenges, explains Adrienne Nolan, UBCO executive director of Development and Alumni Engagement. New challenges can be dropped, new goals identified as the day continues and money is raised to benefit a number of specific projects on campus.

“While the goal is to raise money for many vital projects on our campus, Giving Day is also a day of challenges. Extra funds can be unlocked once a certain number of donations are made to a particular project. This creates lively competition as people rally to support a cause near and dear to their heart,” she says.

There are nine specific fundraising challenges available, including one for UBCO’s Building Academic Retention Through K9’s (BARK) program: As soon as 20 residents from outside the Okanagan donate to BARK, an additional $500 will be unlocked for the program. Other specific Giving Day funds on include one for the UBC Okanagan Heat Women’s softball team and the men’s rugby team, a walk-in wellness clinic, the UBCO Motorsports club and a challenge to UBCO alumni to contribute to a bursary fund.

“We’re calling on the entire community to come together and give, share and spread the word-all in support of UBC Okanagan students,” adds Nolan. “Giving Day is your chance to make a big difference in students’ lives. We’re asking everyone to please help make Giving Day a success by donating to your favourite cause, spreading the word and encouraging your friends and family to participate.”

Contributors can connect online and share their support of Giving Day using #DayoftheOK on social media. Specific challenges, real-time updates and full details can be found at: ok.ubc.ca/giving-day

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