Freshman Nayara Zainadine ’22 (ENG) was delighted to both donate to UConn Engineering’s SPARK program and to promote giving from others during UConn Gives 2019, the University’s 36-hour giving initiative that was held on March 27 and 28.
Zainadine was featured on the School of Engineering’s Twitter feed holding a sign that read: “I believe in our SPARK program, which is why I donated today.”
As both a past participant and current mentor for SPARK, which aims to shrink the gender gap in STEM fields, she felt her direct involvement would encourage others to support such a worthy cause.
“I want to show the next generation of women in STEM that engineers break barriers and they can help break the mold,” she said.
The SPARK program raised more than $1,750 during the initiative. And Zainadine wasn’t the only student who donated her time and enthusiasm to inspire support.
In total, UConn Gives 2019 raised more than $400,000 from 4,600 members of the community to benefit 123 different projects. The total bested last year’s results by more than $130,000.
Students played a large role in this success. They volunteered to run fundraising tables for their departments and student activity groups, delivered cookies as thank-you items to faculty and staff, and contributed to myriad events across campus during the two-day initiative.
“I was glad to spend my morning volunteering with the UConn Foundation and talking with students about what UConn Gives is and what we do,” said Megan Llewellyn ’19, a member of the Student Alumni Association. “I’ve had such a wonderful experience during my time at UConn, and I want to make sure incoming and current students can have the same great time I did. Getting students involved early on in giving back to the UConn community is so important, and this event is a great way to start engaging students and maintaining our UConn network.”
The Student Alumni Association and the UConn Senior program held “UConn Senior Trivia Night” for UConn Gives on the March 27, where more than a third of the students who attended gave $10 donations to the Students First Fund, which provides funding for student emergencies as they arise throughout the year. The UConn Marching Band and UConn choirs also got into the act, encouraging donations through performances at Storrs Center and the School of Fine Arts.
And the fun wasn’t confined to the Storrs campus. Students helped fundraise across all campuses, from UConn Avery Point to the Law School in Hartford and the dental and medical schools in Farmington.
As donors themselves, students were able to show their support with thank-you items like argyle socks featuring Jonathan, Husky water bottles, and laptop decals with the UConn Gives logo.
“We are deeply grateful for the generosity that UConn Nation showed in the span of fewer than two days,” said Senior Vice President for Development Jake Lemon. “It is inspiring to see students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends band together in this way to benefit the University and its programs.”
We’ve wrapped up UConn Gives 2019, but you can support students at UConn at any time.