By encouraging each member of the university community to contribute a dollar, UVM aimed to raise at least $15,000 in a fundraiser titled UVM Gives a Dollar.
The fundraiser was part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, Education and Learning Week, and donated money to three local non-profits, according to University Communications.
Donations were collected in plastic jars at various locations around campus, such as Henderson’s Caf?© and CAT Pause.
In the past, UVM participated in MLK National Day of Service through community service and collecting food and clothing donations. This is the first year UVM has decided to organize a monetary fundraiser, according to University Communications.
“It seemed reasonable to think that students would generally find it easier to give a dollar than to give a pair of gloves or a box of pasta,” Rodman Cory, a communications professional in Human Resource Services and member of the project, said.
Students are not the only people who benefit from a monetary collection, however, according to Rodman.
“We also recognize that non-profits can stretch a dollar much further than the average person shopping at a retail store,” Rodman said.
The non-profits benefitting from this year’s UVM Gives a Dollar are Women Helping Battered Women, the Ronald McDonald House and the Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf, according to University Communications.
Women Helping Battered Women is an organization that works as a hotline for women and children suffering from domestic abuse or violence, with the resources to aid in a transition to a safe, independent life, according to their website.
The Ronald McDonald House hosts an environment of emotional support and comfort. It also offers temporary lodging to families of children receiving medical treatment at Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care, as described in their mission statement.
The Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf operates multiple programs for local residents, including a soup kitchen that serves one hot meal each day and a food shelf that distributes monthly five-day grocery supplies to families in need, according to their website.
The food shelf offers various other opportunities, both for those in need and those seeking volunteer or culinary experience. More information is available on their website.
“I think it’s great,” sophomore Michael O’Donnell said. “UVM does what it can to best serve its community, and the dollar drive could work great for all parties.”
All of the benefitting non-profits are located in Burlington. The dollar drive, in its first year, will look to spread awareness and create opportunities for significant contributions to these and other local organizations in the future.