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Campus & Community

‘Giving’ Back

On Global Day of Philanthropy, Here’s How (and Why) to Support UMD

By Sala Levin ’10

students walk on McKeldin Mall

Photo by John T. Consoli

When Anna learned that her rent was going to balloon after her lease was up in October, she panicked. With just two months left until she earned her master’s degree in public policy, the Central American native couldn’t afford the higher cost of the apartment she shares with her husband and toddler. (For privacy reasons, Anna’s name has been changed.)

Anna turned to the Student Crisis Fund, which offers Terps financial support in emergencies. The money that it provided was enough to cover the rent hike on her family’s apartment.

“It was such a relief,” Anna said. “I even wrote them an email saying, ‘You don’t know how much I appreciate this and how out of options I was.’”

The Student Crisis Fund is just one of the campus programs that Terps can support on Giving Tuesday today as part of a global movement that encourages people to volunteer time or money on one dedicated day during the holiday season. This year, supporters of the university can choose from among 28 crowdfunding projects from units across campus, along with 11 student-led initiatives.

“We know Terps have a lot of places where they can show their support, and we encourage them to give back to the University of Maryland,” said Stephanie Selzer, manager of annual giving in the Division of University Relations.

Last year, the effort raised $290,911 from 1,774 individual gifts.

Friends of the university can back need-based programs like the Student Crisis Fund or the Campus Pantry, or they can donate to student groups researching pancreatic cancer treatments or racial bias in policing. Animal lovers can help the Equestrian Club reach its goal of acquiring a new horse. Those who want to bolster diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives have several options, including the College of Education’s TerpsEXCEED program, which provides students with intellectual disabilities a two-year college experience.

“If people have a special interest in something, there’s probably something on Giving Tuesday to support at Maryland,” said Selzer.

For Anna, the reinforcement she got from the Student Crisis Fund went well beyond the financial. “You’re part of a community here,” she said. “That’s really nice to feel, especially when you’re an international student and you don’t have family here.”

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Division of University Relations

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