After we’ve done our shopping on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, a different opportunity arrives on the global day of giving known as Giving Tuesday. At the onset of the holiday season, Giving Tuesday, a social media campaign to raise funds for needed causes, provides an annual opportunity for people to make a big impact on their community. Giving Tuesday is built on the idea of a global giving movement, held this year on November 28th.
Keeping in the spirit of Giving Tuesday, where social media and collaboration meet, Touro University California (TUC) participated for its fourth year in the national campaign. The university invited local leaders to share their work in the community on Touro’s Facebook page. It was an opportunity for TUC Facebook followers to see the exciting things our community members are doing, which aligns with Touro’s vision of To Serve, To Lead, To Teach.
Seventeen celebrity guests took over the university’s Facebook page for two days, including Solano Superintendent of Schools, Lisette Estrella- Henderson; Vallejo City Councilmember, Pippin Dew-Costa; City of Vallejo Fire Chief, Jack McArthur; Vice Mayor of the City of Fairfield, Chuck Timm; City Manager of the City of Fairfield, David White; KUIC 95.3’s morning show host, John Young; President and CEO of the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce, James Cooper; as well as TUC deans, alumni, students, and administration.
TUC has participated in Giving Tuesday since 2014, when it first asked the community to help restore the historic flagpole on Mare Island, which had rusted with age. With the help of a large donation from Jelly Belly Candy Company, the flag was raised once again to the pride and honor of veterans and those in the community who still remembered when the flag flew over Mare Island.
In 2015, TUC’s Giving Tuesday Campaign allowed for Vallejo’s first comprehensive Diabetes Education Program (DEP) for the general community. Offered at the Student-Run Free Clinic in the Norman C. King Community Center on 545 Magazine Street, the DEP has since helped more than 1,000 people with newly diagnosed and existing Type II diabetes as well as their family members. The seven-week program continues to offer a supportive group for those impacted by diabetes and comprehensively covers the many aspects of life that need adjustment to manage diabetes.
For 2016, the student group, Wellness, Academics, Resilience, and Mindfulness (WARM), raised awareness for students’ need of a site on campus for reflection and stress reduction. The answer was a Meditation Garden to be located behind the historic Mare Island Hospital. Students came together and planted the garden themselves, and now the place is a space of inspiration and revitalization.
This year, TUC Giving Tuesday donations support the Student Emergency Fund — money that helps TUC students during times they need it most. The need became clear after the recent wildfires displaced several of the school’s students, some of whom lost their personal belongings to the fire.
The school has a history of supporting its students in emergencies. In the 2014 earthquake, students whose homes were rendered inhabitable were put up in hotels by the school. The university has also assisted with rent and other sudden emergencies.
To date, the campaign raised over $4,000, which will make a great difference to students in emergencies. But it is shy of the university’s end goal. Together, we can be the difference to ensure our future will have skilled and caring doctors, pharmacists, physician assistants, educators, practitioners of public health, and nurses.
To see the celebrity posts, visit facebook.com/tourocalifornia
You can still join in for Giving Tuesday and show your support by making a tax-deductible donation now tu.edu/givingtuesday. Or call (707) 638-5272.