John Jay’s Annual Giving Day 2020 Campaign Raises Over $270,000 for Student Emergency Fund


This year’s Annual Giving Day raised over $270,000, and these generous donations could not have come at a more important time. “Due to the pandemic, many John Jay students are facing issues of hunger, food insecurity, homelessness, expulsion and the possibility of their public services being cut off,” President Karol said. V.Mason. “Funds raised through the Annual Giving Day campaign will support our most vulnerable students during this difficult time. »

The annual Giving Day campaign kicked off on October 16, World Food Day, and ended on November 19 with John Jay’s first-ever virtual phonathon. To ensure the greatest participation within our community, more than 40 volunteers participated in the phonathon, joining more than 800 donors. By the end of the campaign, over $270,000 had been raised for the John Jay Student Emergency Fund, surpassing the original goal of $200,000 by 36%. “We cannot overstate how essential these funds are for our students,” Mason said. “Currently, 50% of CUNY students face housing issues, 54% of CUNY students have reported declining income, and one in four John Jay students face insecurity. eating. By participating in our annual Giving Day, our community has had a positive impact on the lives of so many students who are striving to achieve their dreams. »

This sense of community and deep commitment to the success of our students has been amplified by donations from over 400 donors. The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation matched every $1 donated with $1 up to $100,000 – a match that was met days before the phonathon. An anonymous donor also matched every $1 donated with $1 up to $10,000 – a match that was met on the day of the phonathon. And, understanding the hardships their fellow students are currently facing, John Jay’s student council has committed $20,000 to help restock the pantry and create care packages for students affected by housing insecurity. “Our students are surviving a global pandemic, learning in a virtual environment, and experiencing food insecurity, housing insecurity, and the threat of job loss,” said Amber Rivero ’21, student council president. “Nevertheless, we remain optimistic that these funds can help ease their burden and support academic achievement.”

“We remain optimistic that these funds can help ease their burdens and support academic success.” —Amber Rivero ’21

Over 40 volunteers participated in our annual Day of Giving event, including student council members, international students, student-athletes, undergraduate students, graduate students, staff members, body members professor, administrators and the food justice students of Professor Vanessa Gutiérrez. Over the course of their calls, many volunteers were touched by the generosity of the people they spoke to on the phone. Some asked the alumni about their memories of John Jay. Others briefed them on the latest happenings at the College. But for one volunteer, his interactions as a phonathon volunteer had special meaning.

“Volunteering for the Annual Giving Day was important to me because as a student who has experienced housing insecurity myself, I wanted to contribute to the John Jay community that has supported me so much,” said Sam Ascencio ’22, Peer Success Coach and Vice President of the LGBTQ+ Allies Club. For Ascencio, the thought that another student is “doing well” because of the time they have volunteered has been the driving force behind their participation.

“Participating in the annual Giving Day has helped me realize that John Jay is truly less of a suburban school and more of a community school.” —Sam Ascension ’22

Before his first call, Ascencio felt a little anxious about calling a stranger, but after settling into the experience, his nervousness subsided. “I’ve had some amazing conversations with alumni,” he said. “Connecting with the many generations of John Jay students has been truly rewarding, and knowing that we are all having a positive impact has truly changed me.” His favorite moment was chatting with a former student who was thrilled to be contacted by his alma mater and who is greatly missed on campus. “He gave me encouraging words of support,” Ascencio said, “and I felt like I had known him my whole life.”

“Justice takes many forms and sometimes justice is done well by your comrades.” —Sam Ascensio ’22

The overall experience of volunteering for the annual Giving Day has helped Ascencio see John Jay in an even more positive light. “Participating in the annual Giving Day has helped me realize that John Jay is truly less of a suburban school and more of a community school,” he said. “We all know each other. We know our fellow volunteers and organizers, and the experience felt personal because we know it makes a difference. Justice takes many forms and sometimes justice is done well by your comrades. »

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