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CSM Donors Break Records on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday
CSM nursing student Jamyra Grymes, 20, of Lexington Park, recipient of multiple scholarships, writes thank-you notes to donors at the Leonardtown Campus on #GivingTuesday, Nov. 28, 2017.

Donors demonstrated the generosity that is the hallmark of this community as they donated nearly $120,000 to the College of Southern Maryland Foundation on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017.

College President Dr. Maureen Murphy said that the most gratifying aspect of this year’s Giving Tuesday is that the generosity came not just from the community, but also from the college’s faculty and staff. “We are so grateful to all who gave on Giving Tuesday and to those who have given in the past. These gifts help our students achieve their dreams,” Dr. Murphy said.

During the 24 hours of the online event, 366 people donated $119,673 in the spirit of #GivingTuesday, an international day focused on philanthropy that follows Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, highlighting giving rather than material consumerism. The college was hoping for at least 300 unique donors during this year’s event, yet surpassed that goal. Donations ranging from just a few dollars to the Salta family’s $15,000 matching donation added up to an increase of more than 70 percent over last year’s giving. In 2016, the CSM Foundation was able to raise $70,177 from 271 unique donors through the online event.

At this year’s Giving Tuesday, representatives from the college’s student government and scholarship recipients manned “thank-you stations” at CSM’s La Plata, Leonardtown, and Prince Frederick campuses. Students answered questions, helped donors, wrote thank-you cards, and gave away candy, doughnuts, and coffee.

Camille DeJesus is treasurer for La Plata’s Student Association, and was stationed at the La Plata Campus. The 19-year-old Bryans Road resident she sat in front of her laptop, frequently refreshing the screen to watch the donation page as the number of donors and the amount of donations increased with each click.

“It’s really fun to see,” she said, noting that the general scholarship fund was a popular designation for donors, as well as STEM programs. She also saw that many faculty members were donating in response to the college president’s challenge. Dr. Murphy made an initial gift of $1,000 and then challenged all employees to join her in making an impact, saying she would donate $1 above and beyond her gift for every CSM employee who participated on Giving Tuesday. Altogether, 115 CSM employees answered the challenge.

The Leonardtown Rotary Club, Paddle for Heroes Committee, presented $1,000 to Dr. Tracy Harris, vice president and dean of the College of Southern Maryland’s Leonardtown Campus, to establish a scholarship at the college for First Responders and their families. From left are Rotarians Carol Coppenbarger, Dr. Harris, Robin Finnacom, and Barbara Thompson. The proceeds were raised from the Rotary club’s kayak and paddle for fun race held in June 2017. The 2018 event, which will be held at Leonardtown Wharf on Saturday, June 9, 2018 (rain date June 23), will not only raise funds for First Responders scholarships but will also be offering military personnel who are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder with funds to attend the Warfighter Advance seven-day peer-to-peer counseling program. The funds were part of the CSM Foundation’s record-breaking #GivingTuesday event which raised funds for student scholarships and programs Nov. 28.

Ms. DeJesus also donated to several scholarship funds. “As a scholarship recipient myself, I wanted to return the kindness given to me back to scholarships for other students,” she said. “Even if I did not donate a lot of money, I wanted to at least give something to show how thankful I am for having so many scholarship opportunities here. … I appreciate the great effort that the CSM Foundation puts forward for the students.”

On the Leonardtown Campus, student association members had voted to help with Giving Tuesday. Carly Pollock, 20, of Leonardtown is president of the Leonardtown Campus student government, and said it was an easy vote. “We decided we want to give back,” she said, adding that many students rely on scholarships, and student government wanted to advocate for those students.

Scholarship recipient Jamyra Grymes, 20, of Lexington Park volunteered at the Leonardtown Campus. The nursing student would like to assist in an operating room someday. She has received three scholarships.

“Not every student has the privilege to go to college,” Ms. Grymes said. “The scholarship money really helps.”

If she could address all the donors who helped with her scholarships, Ms. Grymes said she’d “like to thank them for their investment in my education. And, hopefully, I’ll be able to help them one day as a nurse.”

CSM Foundation Chair Nancy Hempstead and Immediate Past-Chair E. Rané Franklin stopped by the Prince Frederick Campus for Giving Tuesday, making donations and visiting with students.

“Every year I am amazed by the incredible response to Giving Tuesday,” Ms. Hempstead said. “It shows that the spirit of giving is truly alive in our community and reinforces the value and the strong support that CSM continues to build. I love being on campus and seeing firsthand the great turnout from our students as well.”

This year’s focus for Giving Tuesday was on support of student scholarships, and donors could double their impact by giving to several matching scholarship funds, in which every dollar that was given was matched by the donor.

Matching funds included the Charles K. Walsh Memorial Scholarship, Cox Family Memorial Scholarship, Coldwell Banker Jay Lilly Real Estate Scholarship Fund for Construction Trades and Industrial Training, Hempstead Family Scholarship, Nyce Annual and Endowed Scholarships, Mary I. Shasho Memorial Endowed Scholarship, Oreta Stinson Memorial Engineering Scholarship, Peter Cangelosi Memorial Scholarship, Solomons Business Association Scholarship, Southern Maryland Women’s League Scholarship, SMECO Scholarship for Administrative Professionals, and the Zonta Club of Charles County Scholarship.

The CSM Student Association and CSM Athletics were also working to raise funds for programs on Giving Tuesday. The CSM Student Association was raising money and awareness for micro-food pantries, called Hawk Feeders, located on each of CSM’s four campuses. Hawk Feeders help students address the short-term basic food needs they may have and operate on the concept of “take what you need, give what you can.”

CSM Athletics raised money for the college’s baseball field, dugouts, and bleachers, all of which are the original structures. Newer facilities will ensure safety of athletes and fans and are critical to the college’s ability to recruit the next generation of talent, said Assistant Director of Athletics Sarah Williams. In addition, all CSM teams raised money for out-of-conference travel and gear.

To see a gallery of photos from #GivingTuesday, visit CSM’s photo sharing site.

To donate any time to scholarship funds at CSM, visit the CSM Foundation online.

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit its Leader member page.

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