The globally celebrated annual day of philanthropy will make its debut on campus at the end of this month in recognition of many organizations throughout the UH system. Different programs, initiatives and students will be invited to showcase their thanks for the scholarships/funds received from donors.
“First comes Thanksgiving, then the shopping Black Friday frenzy,” said UH Foundations Associate Director of Annual Giving Dustin Cook. “Then you have Cyber Monday, so right after that is the globally recognized day of Giving Tuesday to put all of that materialism aside and really show your support for the community and organizations out there that do good.”
Although the day will be centered around raising funds for the various organizations, initiatives and scholarships, the foundation wishes to invite students to join in on the celebration with an on campus event.
“We can't expect students to want to give money. They’re in school. A lot of them aren't working and the ones that are working are working work few hours at relatively low wages,” Cook said.
UH sophomore Hezekiah Kapua’ala who has received scholarships from the university says he will most likely not be attending the celebration because of duties as the Mānoa Now Video Coordinator conflicting with the celebration, but thanks his donors for providing him with the opportunity to pursue his passion in videography.
“If we can show why we're worthy of having these scholarships, and if we can maintain that I think is the best way to show our appreciation for the scholarship,” Kapua’ala said.
Kapua’ala, originally a Maui native, moved to Hawai’i because of the opportunities his scholarships have provided him.
“UH Mānoa was actually my backup school, and after I got the scholarships which kind of already paid off two-thirds of my first year, I thought I might as well go here and its worked out pretty well,” Kapua’ala said.
The 19-year-old Maui native kickstarted his journey to UH Manoa through scholarships that brought him to the island to pursue his education in creative media. Kapua’ala considers the scholarships to be a huge blessing due to the high cost of schooling, as well as his family's already difficult financial situation.
“I’m in the dorms because of scholarships. That’s the only way I was able to live here: because of scholarships that have impacted my life. I’m able to attend here and not have to worry about money as far as my education goes,” Kapua’ala said.
Cook encourages students who are recipients of scholarships that are able to dedicate their time on Giving Tuesday to share a message of thanks with their donors. Whether it be from sharing the message, making a monetary donation or completing your degree anyone can take part in this event.
“Knowing that their goals are being stewarded and the people that are receiving their scholarships are pulling through and sharing their struggles and successes—that means a lot to a donor and that's how students can participate,” Cook said.
This year’s theme for Giving Tuesday is Stronger Together. Details of the event will go live on the UH Giving Tuesday website two weeks before the event. For more information on last year’s event check out their website at givingday.uhfoundation.org.