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Giving Tuesday raises $124,000 for scholarships

Students join in the Biola campaign by donating small amounts.  |  Becky Mitchell/THE CHIMES

 

On Giving Tuesday, an event to raise money for student scholarships, students, parents and community members raised over $124,000.

Participating

For the first time, Biola participated in the national event held every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. While most of the Biola campaign has been geared towards alumni, this event allowed students to take part in aiding fellow students’ financial situations.

“One thing we’ve noticed is that the campaign really is about the Biola family, and so we want to give an opportunity [in] a very easy, tangible way for students to participate in the campaign,” said Chris Johnson, campaign marketing manager.

Feeling Small

For the first time students were formally asked to join the campaign in a way that may have felt small. Students were asked to give $5 each, but since there was an anonymous donor matching up to $50,000 of the donations, the $5 hold a $10 value.

“On this day in particular I know that students don’t have a lot of money and they feel like their small gift won’t make a difference, but because we have a match gift … that will hopefully encourage and motivate people,” said Cambria Aviles, advancement communications coordinator.  

Survey Response

In preparation for this event the team partnered with Student Government Association and a group of student interns who took surveys. The survey found students wanted smaller scholarships for a greater amount of students rather than a single student receiving a larger scholarship, Aviles said.

The goal amount for students to raise was $5,000, within the larger goal of $100,000 in a 24 hour time period.

“Students want to see how they can make a difference at Biola here and now as well and because this scholarship is focused on helping their fellow students it has the sense of coming together and making a difference in each other’s lives,” Aviles said.

Scholarships

All of the money raised will be given out to small, yet numerous, student scholarships in the 2016-2017 academic year. Current students will be able to apply for the scholarships starting on Dec. 7.

Beyond donating, the event connected with students by including a photobooth and a giving location next to the bells. Students were also asked to participate by sharing why they love Biola and to tell their friends and family about Giving Tuesday, Johnson said.

I really love Biola, so just anything I can do to give back means a lot to me because I know that it’s … just going to benefit the overall [scholarship fund],” said Kristen Dvorak, freshman engineering major.

Willingness

Although the approach seemed strange at first, students realized how expensive Biola is and decided to give to their fellow students, said Lauren Overshoun-Hall, junior journalism major.

I think it’s really bold to ask the students to give because a lot of us are already paying a lot of money to give or to go here and attend, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how willing everyone is to give,” said Jamie Layton, volunteer at the giving location and sophomore psychology major.

Give a Little Bit

By giving a small amount, such as the $5 suggested, students could have easily given up a coffee, smoothie or Chick-Fil-A run for the day, Layton said.

“I mean yeah we’re students and we don’t earn a lot of money, but we can each give a little bit and that does contribute to a larger amount, so I mean you have all these people here, you [might] as well use that resource,” Dvorak said.

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