Cameron’s Student Alumni Association (SAA) participated in Giving Tuesday on Nov. 28 by reading to local elementary school students.
Giving Tuesday is a national campaign celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving that encourages people to volunteer their time, donations or voices to others.
The SAA visited three schools including Almor West, Pat Henry and Hugh Bish to read books that emphasized the importance of generosity like “The Giving Tree,” “Oscar the Selfish Octopus” and “The Quiltmaker’s Dress.”
Junior public relations major and SAA President Edward Muñiz said the organization brainstormed ideas for Giving Tuesday and ultimately decided the reading project would be the most effective.
“We thought that doing this would have a positive impact on the kids,” he said, “and hopefully spark something in them to want to do projects like this in the future or even now if they have that capability.”
Muñiz said he felt the SAA succeeded in their first attempt at participating in Giving Tuesday.
“It really filled me with joy seeing all these kids pay attention to us and actually give us their ears,” he said. “I think they really absorbed and took in what we were trying to teach them subtly.”
Director of Alumni Relations and SAA adviser Frank Myers said the group jumped at the chance to give back to the community.
“The Student Alumni Association felt like it was a cool way to show support for the public school system and also to help out with little kids,” he said.
Myers said the visits served as opportunities to show the children good examples of selfless college students.
“For the kids,” he said, “I feel like the benefit is they get to see that role model person. They get to see somebody who is giving back – people they’re not necessarily going to be exposed to on a regular basis.”
“They’re [college students] in that next step after they go through regular education, and they got to tell them [elementary students] about what college is and teach them the lesson of giving.”
Muñiz said one member who read to the children received hugs and high-fives from them afterwards and felt like nothing could ruin her day.
“Whitney Brown, who was with us, said – after we were done reading – that it was the highlight of her day and that no matter what happened the rest of her day,” he said, “she would be happy because of reading to those kids.”
According to Myers, Brown’s excitement and cheery reaction is exactly what inspires people to reach out.
“When you go through an experience like that,” he said, “it really makes you want to continue to give, and when you continue to give, that’s when you change people’s lives, and that’s when you change communities.”
Muñiz said next year, he hopes to raise more campus awareness for Giving Tuesday.
“We hope that next year,” he said, “we can make this event bigger and include more organizations and include more students across campus and get the word out to the community and make it a big deal.”
In January 2018, the SAA plans to participate in the Martin Luther King Day of Service with other campus organizations.
For more information about opportunities with the SAA, contact Myers at (580) 581-2988 or email Muñiz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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