John Jay’s 2019 Annual Day of Giving Raises Over $140,000 for Student Emergency Fund

John Jay’s 2019 Annual Day of Giving Raises Over $140,000 for Student Emergency Fund

John Jay’s 2019 Annual Day of Giving Raises Over $140,000 for Student Emergency Fund

At this year’s Annual Day of Giving, held on November 20, the entire John Jay community came together to raise over $140,000 for John Jay’s Student Emergency Fund—and we’re still receiving gifts until December 3, when the campaign officially closes. Over 100 volunteers showed up to our Annual Day of Giving event, representing every walk of life within the College. At the call center you could find soccer players and basketball players, student council members and staff members, professors and administrators, freshmen and grad students all gathered together, operating the phones, bringing in each essential dollar. And, their hard work paid off. Over 420 people donated and the College’s initial goal of raising $75,000 for the Student Emergency Fund was surpassed by 87 percent. For our students facing food and housing insecurity, homelessness, transportation issues, medical emergencies, and other challenges that could negatively impact their ability to fully thrive at John Jay, the Student Emergency Fund is critical to their well-being, enabling them to remain in College, earn their degree, and reach their academic, professional, and life goals.

President Karol V. Mason (center) gives Lamia and Osorio a pep talk before the phonathon begins
President Karol V. Mason (center) gives Lamia and Osorio a pep talk

“CUNY-wide, 48 percent of students recently experienced food insecurity,” said President Karol V. Mason, bringing attention to the most recent #RealCollege Survey. “The Student Emergency Fund provides much-needed relief to students dealing with critical needs, so they can remain in College and complete their degrees. Students can access these emergency funds through John Jay’s Wellness Center to pay for food, rent, utilities, transportation, child care, medical procedures, textbooks, computers, or personal property damaged by theft, fire, and flood. It is imperative that we keep this program going and available to our students at John Jay.”

President Karol V. Mason celebrates securing a new donation
President Karol V. Mason celebrates securing a new donation

The day included celebratory festivities in Hounds Square, with performances from the John Jay Singers and The Universal Image Dance Team, photo opportunities with our Bloodhound mascot, and a surprise announcement from Vice President of MBJ Food Services, Aldana Vasques Williams. On behalf of the food services provider, Vasques Williams announced, with a giant check in hand, that MBJ was donating $45,000 in food vouchers to the Wellness Center. “The support of the John Jay community and its partners made this year’s Annual Day of Giving phenomenal,” said Robin Merle, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the John Jay Foundation. “We raised more than $140,000 for our Student Emergency Fund and it’s not over yet. John Jay is participating in CUNY Tuesday, so the official Annual Day of Giving campaign will go on until December 3.”

(left to right) Michael Sachs, Dean of Students; Robin Merle, Vice President, Institutional Advancement; and Aldana Vasques Williams, Vice President, MBJ Food Services
(left to right) Michael Sachs, Dean of Students; Robin Merle, Vice President, Institutional Advancement; and Aldana Vasques Williams, Vice President, MBJ Food Services

Throughout the course of Annual Day of Giving, we spoke to John Jay students, faculty, and staff, and asked, why was it important for you to volunteer on Annual Day of Giving?

Esmeralda ConnorsEsmeralda Connors ’21
Major: Forensic Psychology

“I’m volunteering today because I have known students who don’t have a home or have lost their parents and now are out on the streets with no place to go. You speak to them, you learn of their struggle, and you realize how remarkable and resilient they truly are. They tell you that despite not having a home, or money for food and books, they will still do everything they can to come to school. By volunteering here today, I hope that I’m assisting, even in a small way, with making their lives a bit easier so that they can continue pursuing their dreams.”

 

Makeda JordanMakeda Jordan, Associate Director in the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership

“In my office, I’ve spoken to students who have shared with me their struggles with housing, food, and transportation. I actually had a student who was active in student organizations who was homeless. He would come to school, and act like everything in his life was okay. And you couldn’t tell just by looking at him that he was homeless, because he looked great. But he came to me one day, and told me that he was sleeping in parks and didn’t have much to eat. I spoke to the Dean of Students, and we were able to provide this student with resources that made a major impact in his life. I believe, had he not received that help, he would have taken a year off of school, and who knows where he would be. But because of the support we were able to provide him with—and thanks to money from the Student Emergency Fund—he was able to graduate from John Jay and go to law school.”

Makeda JordanChloe Cardinale ’20
Major: Forensic Psychology

“I was the secretary of the Food Security Advocates at John Jay and we worked with students suffering from food insecurity to raise awareness about the issue. So this cause is something I’m familiar with and care deeply about. We have some amazing programs and resources available at the College— like the Food Pantry and the Wellness Center—that do great work in trying to address food insecurity. Spending a few hours on the phone to help someone in need is the least that I can do to spread awareness about this issue.”

 

Ryan QuachRyan Quach ’23
Major: Criminal Justice

“We’re a school that focuses on justice and making sure that we do things that are fair and just for all. How can we say that we are advocates for justice, if we don’t extend a helping hand to those that need it most? It’s important for our community to come together and try to raise money for the benefit of our community members who are committed to following their dreams, but are struggling with the basic resources that will help them get there.”

 

Erica EstroErica Estro ’21
Major: Criminology

“I’m on the women’s soccer team and I see all the amazing things that John Jay does for the athletics program. Being here today and helping with this event is my way of giving back to the College. I haven’t personally met someone in need, but being here today, and hearing their stories has been an eye-opening experience. Having the entire community, students, faculty, staff, and alumni come together and make donations to help those John Jay students who need help has been an incredibly moving experience. Our community made this event so special.”

 

More scenes from the event

View More photos from Annual Day of Giving 2019