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Tiger Giving Day: an annual tradition of generosity

<p>Tiger Giving Day is an annual event where the Auburn community raises money to meet goals for certain causes hosted by people or groups on campus.</p>

Tiger Giving Day is an annual event where the Auburn community raises money to meet goals for certain causes hosted by people or groups on campus.

Tiger Giving Day has become an anticipated event for the Auburn community since 2015, and this year was no exception. The eighth annual Tiger Giving Day took place on Wednesday, Feb. 22. 

According to Lisa Lofland, assistant director of digital marketing at Auburn Advancement, the goal of Tiger Giving Day is to highlight lesser-known projects and initiatives around campus that need support. The 24-hour event makes giving accessible to those who choose to participate.

This year’s Tiger Giving Day included 58 projects that the Auburn community could donate to, up seven from the 51 projects last year. 

“Each year, we have more people giving to multiple projects,” Lofland said. “I believe the more our communities—not just locally, but across the state—see Auburn’s outreach efforts and the important work that is being done to help their area either through K-12 outreach, rural healthcare efforts and more, the more participation we see in not only giving to projects but also championing them.”

Rather than set an overall goal for Tiger Giving Day, each project decides on goals they believe they can achieve in a day.

Although some projects did not quite reach their goal, others exceeded it by no small margin.

The most successful project this year was “Keep College Affordable with Welcome Home Grants.” With the contribution of 143 donors, the project raised $37,955 with a $15,000 goal— a 253% completion rate.

According to Bobby Woodard, senior vice president for Student Affairs and project owner of “Keep College Affordable with Welcome Home Grants,” the rising cost of living and food has put financial stress on students. 

“Students can’t succeed in the classroom if they are worried about how to pay for their housing or meals,” Woodard said. “We want to do everything we can to offset those costs for deserving students who need a little help.”

The Welcome Home Grants project was one of nine that Student Affairs sponsored for Tiger Giving Day. In total, according to Woodard, more than $160,000 was raised this year in support of these nine projects.

“The Auburn experience makes a positive, lasting impact on our students that continues long after they graduate,” Woodard said. “The Welcome Home Grants provide an opportunity for those who have benefited from what Auburn has given them to pay it forward and help a deserving student earn an Auburn degree. It’s a special program, and we are appreciative of the outpouring of support it received.”

The goal is to implement the Welcome Home Grants by the Fall 2023 semester.

Many other projects reached their monetary goals, including “Increase Access to Services for Children with Autism.” This project is owned by Nadia Bhuiyan, assistant clinical director in the Department of Psychological Sciences, and Sarah Richling, assistant clinical director in the Department of Psychological Sciences. 

According to Bhuiyan, the goal of this project is to “support increasing the access children have to intervention and assessment services through the Center for Autism Research, Treatment, and Training (CARTT) and Auburn University Psychological Service Center (AUPSC).”

Through the contributions of 228 donors, the project raised $17,250 with a $15,000 goal—a 114% completion rate.

“Through the generous donations for our Tiger Giving Day project, families will be able to seek free and reduced-cost diagnostic evaluations, caregiver training, early intervention, and consultation services,” Bhuiyan said. “With the donations, we hope to host more educational and outreach events to better inform families about resources available. We will also train additional clinicians in delivering high-quality and evidence-based services.”

Bhuiyan and Richling were extremely grateful for the help of the Auburn Family this Tiger Giving Day.

“Our community is very aware of the numerous barriers families experience, whether they relate to finances, availability of experts in the area, and reliable access to providers,” Bhuiyan said. “We are beyond grateful for our community’s support – each and every donation helps reliably increase access to high-quality evidence-based services.”

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Although the overall total of money raised on Tiger Giving Day has not been calculated, it is clear that the donors have made a significant impact on all organizations involved in the annual event.

Kayleigh Freeman | News Writer

Kayleigh Freeman, freshman in journalism, is a news writer at The Auburn Plainsman.

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