By Madeline Herron
For The Diamondback
Each year, clubs and organizations at the University of Maryland participate in Giving Tuesday, a national day of fundraising for many nonprofits.
This year, Giving Tuesday took place on Tuesday, Dec. 1.
Camp Kesem at University of Maryland, a national organization with a chapter at this university, raised about $43,000 during Giving Tuesday this year.
The organization is dedicated to supporting children who have had a parent with cancer and hosts an annual sleep-away camp for the children. To respect privacy laws regarding confidentiality in health records, each member of the organization goes by a “Kesem name.”
Jackie “Flounder” Quinones, a junior environmental science and policy major and member of the organization, said she thinks people should participate in Giving Tuesday because it’s a chance “to contribute to things that are making a difference.”
“It’s really great to be a part of a cause that’s bigger than yourself,” Quinones said. “This is the day that brings so much good in the world.”
Fundraising efforts this year included online outreach and social media efforts, as well as virtual events over Zoom such as trivia games.
But Camp Kesem UMD is used to virtual elements on Giving Tuesday, said Evan “Turnpike” Oberthaler, a junior public policy major.
In years’ past, Oberthaler said, Giving Tuesday was “a day that you spent on your laptop and your phone.”
“Giving Tuesday was kind of built for a virtual setting, regardless of the fact that we may be uncomfortable with it,” Oberthaler said, adding that nevertheless, its relevance is prevalent now.
As the holiday season approaches amid the pandemic, Oberthaler said “right now is a time when people need to be reached out to the most.”
College Mentors For Kids’ University of Maryland chapter also fundraised on Giving Tuesday, raising over $1,500.
The organization’s mission is to “inspire growth, confidence, and brighter futures” by connecting kids with college student mentors and offering weekly on-campus activities, according to its website.
Thomas Halligan, a sophomore marketing and supply chain management major and the vice president of fundraising for the organization’s chapter at this university, said Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for the organization to increase engagement throughout the campus community as well as to fundraise. The organization fundraised through social media outreach.
“Giving Tuesday is really an opportunity that no nonprofit can pass up,” Halligan said.
And the fundraising didn’t stop with organizations on the campus.
In the city of College Park, Mayor Patrick Wojahn released a statement via his weekly mayoral update documents asking residents to donate to local nonprofit organizations in the city for Giving Tuesday.
The statement listed local organizations such as College Park Meals on Wheels and College Park Community Food Bank for residents to support.
“Giving Tuesday is another opportunity to support our local community,” the statement read.