By Trevor Diddell
BSBA Marketing ’10
On December 5, 446 students and 14 campus clubs deployed to 13 Southern Arizona nonprofit organizations for Eller College Philanthropy. The eighth annual event kept student volunteers busy from 7:30 a.m. until noon.
The goal of the event is to bring together Eller students, faculty, staff, and friends to give back to the community. Some of this year’s participating nonprofits included Goodwill, St. Luke’s, World Care, and Casa de los Ninos.
“Students have begun to realize the importance of giving back to their communities, especially during tough economic times,” says Eller associate dean of undergraduate programs Pam Perry. Perry teaches the nonprofit management course that was instrumental in coordinating the event this year.
The students in Perry’s class worked all semester with student events coordinator Shannon Simms to plan the event. “The class gave me an opportunity to see what it is really like in the nonprofit realm,” says business management senior Gabriel Munoz-Fitch. He and 24 other management majors visited a dozen nonprofits in the Tucson community this semester as part of the class.
“At each nonprofit, we were met by a member of upper management. These CEOs and executive directors told us about the passion it takes to start a nonprofit organization,” explains Scott Beth, a business management senior. Beth and Munoz-Fitch, like the other students in Perry’s class, formed a board of directors for this year’s Eller College Philanthropy. The students worked on several subcommittees, such as marketing and sponsorship, to coordinate all aspects of the event.
At the beginning of this year’s event, student volunteers were divided into teams and sent to the different nonprofits, where they spent the morning helping the organizations. The event culminated with a lunch for all the volunteers catered by Guadalajara Grill.
“The event was a huge success,” Beth says. The nearly 450 volunteers brought much-needed help to organizations and the community as a whole.
The event also inspired Eller students to give back and support the community they live in. Beyond his involvement with the Eller College Philanthropy, Beth volunteered his personal time to the Volunteer Center of Southern Arizona’s 14th Annual “Visit from Saint Nick.” Beth was one of four volunteers who dressed up as Saint Nick to deliver presents to economically disadvantaged youth in Tucson.
“It was an awesome experience to bring a smile to so many faces, although some of the younger students were terrified of a 6’6” man with a huge white beard!” Beth says.
Read more about Beth’s experience in the Arizona Daily Star or contact the Undergraduate Programs office for more information about engaging Eller student volunteers at your organization for next year’s event.