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Giving Day: A Vibrant Showcase of Community-wide Generosity and Unity

Students and faculty come together for a day of fundraising festivities, aiming to support UMKC programs and fund students’ futures.
Brenna Oxley
Drinks and snacks were served to UMKC students and faculty for the annual Giving Day Kick-Off Party, celebrating a 24-hour fundraising event to support UMKC programs and foundations.

  UMKC students and faculty flocked to the Student Union Café on March 5 for the annual Giving Day Kick-Off Party. 

  Alight with pop music, UMKC-colored balloons and a mountain of free snacks, the party headlined a 24-hour-long fundraising event for UMKC programs and foundations. Giving Day is a chance for many to contribute to students’ well-being and fund their opportunities.

  Gabby Marin, a student of the UMKC Foundation and creative writing major, helped set up the program by making gift bags. As a First Gen Roo, Marin said she understands the importance of raising money for these organizations, especially for the First Gen Roo program because of how much it helps students succeed.

  This year, First Gen Roo is raising money for their First Gen Emergency Fund to offer first-generation students financial aid to continue their education during crises. It is one of nearly 100 participating fundraisers in the event. 

  “Giving Day invites the whole community to come together to support the mission of the university,” said Director of Annual Giving Dana Chamblin. “More than any other event UMKC does in the year, Giving Day is the most public-facing and community-wide fundraising we do. We’re trying to engage the whole community at all levels.”

  Chamblin stressed the importance of raising awareness of the event and inviting people to participate in any way they can. She said the funding is crucial to support the programs at UMKC, as well as the students involved.

   At the party, a live, televised chart updated the scores of participating fundraisers in the Roos Choose Challenge. Anyone could participate in voting during the challenge, and it enabled the cause with the most votes to win an extra donation of at least $500. 

  Those who donated $150 or more received a limited-edition UMKC-branded blanket, and anyone who contributed to the funds for the first time received a Giving Day tote bag. 

  “This is a giving event targeted towards students and faculty. We’ve had a lot of external donors give too, but this is an opportunity for people who consider UMKC home to participate,” said UMKC Foundation member Jessie Sharp.

  Sharp added that despite this year being only the third year of hosting the event, it’s grown exponentially. Last year, donors doubled the total fundraising goal, and the UMKC Foundation hopes to continue this trend with increased awareness.

  Students can view the fundraiser information here to learn more about the money raised and the different organizations involved. 

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