After the familiar Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, falls Giving Tuesday, a nationally recognized day of giving. A day dedicated to giving back, after a weekend of shopping.
Last year, student philanthropy was a new focus for R.E.A.L. Bears. We were given the task of educating students on what it means to give back to the university while still a student. Giving Tuesday in 2015, was one of the first opportunities R.E.A.L. Bears had to share this idea with Missouri State’s students. While this is the second year that R.E.A.L. Bears is tackling student philanthropy education, it still one of the main focuses of the organization, making our goals for Giving Tuesday this bigger and better.
Giving Tuesday was on November 29th this year and the event took place in the Plaster Student Union from 11am-2pm. This event served two purposes. The first being to educate students on what their tuition dollar covers. R.E.A.L. Bears volunteers handed out cookies to students that had a third of the cookie cut out. This presented the opportunity to explain to students that the tuition they pay only covers a portion of the cost it takes for them to get an education at Missouri State. The missing portion represented private donations.
The second purpose Giving Tuesday was to spread the word of our “Change for Change” campaign that will begin in the spring semester. During this campaign, coin banks will be distributed to students who are encouraged to donate their spare change to university fund of their choice. To demonstrate how it is to be a donor, there were a few jars at the Giving Tuesday booth, each representing popular funds that students could choose to donate their spare change.
The student philanthropy committee, which consists of the committee chair, the vice president of philanthropy, and several R.E.A.L. Bears members, has been planning Giving Tuesday since the semester began in August. The ideas started big, and many obstacles were tackled along the way, but a final plan came together, and a goal of reaching 200 students was made and reached. The ultimate goal of this event was to educate students on the impact of donors. We could even go one step further and say that the goal of this Missouri State edition of #givingtuesday was to spread the value of giving.