The University of Tennessee at Knoxville passes dollars to people for the Big Orange Give, its annual fundraising event.
As of Wednesday, the university is aiming for 8,000 gifts in 24 hours from alumni, friends, relatives, students, faculty and staff. Donors can donate any size and can choose to donate to any area of ââcampus they’re passionate about, especially its new food aid program designed as a safety net.
âWe made this change because we want Big Orange Give to be exciting and something that everyone wants to get involved in, regardless of the amount of donation that may be made,â said Lauren Herbstritt, director of the advancement and annual donations.
Last year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university reached its fundraising goal of $ 2.5 million. It had 1,032 first donors and approximately 6,300 donations.
âOur family of volunteers really showed up to Big Orange Give and contributed to the student emergency fund in such an impactful way.â¦ I hope they will do it again this year,â Herbstritt said.
Feeding students and staff in need
While donors can direct their donations to any part of UT, Herbstritt says those who want to make an immediate difference for students are encouraged to donate to UT’s Big Orange Pantry, a help center. food and hygiene for students, teachers and staff. It opened in November 2020.
About 32% of students at UT Knoxville are food insecure, according to the End Hunger / FEED Change 2020 annual report published by UT’s Hunger Studies Working Group.
âI think at one point we all made or heard the joke ‘In college all I ate was ramen noodles.’ And that probably wasn’t true, but for a third of our students, that might be true, “Herbstritt said.” This type of diet is not a diet high in the nutrients needed to thrive and succeed in what can be a very difficult educational environment with rigorous classes and courses. extracurricular activities.”
Lauren Gateley, an economics student at Haslam College of Business, said that without the gifts from Big Orange Give, her student organization might not have survived the pandemic last year.
âThis event is really what has secured our place as one of the major student organizations in the College of Business right now,â said Gateley.
Former International Business Club President Gateley and other club members raised over $ 1,100 through Big Orange Give last year. Before, the organization had not had a budget of more than $ 400 to work.
“It was amazing to see how much potential our club still had and how we could see it grow in the years to come with the success we have had in this one Big Orange Give appearance,” said Gateley.
Gateley says the money raised through the fundraising event has been and will be used for events, speakers and trips outside of Knoxville.
Gateley has resigned from the International Business Club, but she is confident that her successor, Lucy Buk, will keep the momentum going.
âAll of these ways our funds have been implemented are definitely a result of Lucy’s presidency,â Gateley said.
How to make a donation
The event starts at 12:01 am Wednesday and lasts 24 hours. Anyone can donate at bigorangegive.utk.edu using a credit card or PayPal. Donors can choose to offer one-time donations or recurring monthly donations.
There will be two matching donation windows throughout the day: one starting at 6 a.m. and one starting at 6 p.m.
âMatches are the cornerstone of a Big Orange Give and truly the best day of the year for a donor or potential donor to expand their impact by matching their giveaway,â Herbstritt said.
Gateley has made and will continue to donate to Big Orange Give, even after graduation.
âI’m absolutely going to participate in Big Orange Give and encourage all of my peers to do the same,â Gateley said.