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February 24, 2024

Step Up spreads philanthropic awareness, promotes ‘Giving Tuesday’

By ELLIE PENATI | December 5, 2013

In honor of “Giving Tuesday,” members of Step Up stationed themselves on the Keyser Quad during the Lighting of the Quads ceremony this past Tuesday in an attempt to raise awareness about the importance of philanthropy on Homewood Campus.

The group set up a table where members encouraged students passing by to sign letters and posters to show appreciation to those that have donated to the University. Participants were treated to free pens and highlighters.

“Tonight we wanted take the opportunity of the Lighting of the Quads to jumpstart Step Up early and to get people thinking about philanthropy and thanking our donors, especially in honor of Giving Tuesday,” the President of Step Up, Carolina Hernandez, said.

Celebrating “Giving Tuesday” is a growing movement in the world of nonprofits that seeks to compliment the extreme consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and promote the spirit of philanthropy.

“We are out here tonight as a student body to say thank you to all those people who gave back on ‘Giving Tuesday’ and throughout the rest of the year just for their support of what’s going on here at the University,” Jeanine Federline, assistant director of early engagement in the Office of Alumni Relations and faculty advisor of Step Up, said.

Step Up is an organization at Hopkins that, with support from the Office of Alumni Relations, works to raise awareness about the effects of philanthropy on campus and inspire students to partake in philanthropy themselves. The group primarily works to plan the annual Step Up Week, a week filled with philanthropy awareness activities. This year Step Up Week will fall on the week of April 6.

“We strive to let students know that there is a tradition of philanthropy on campus. The University was founded on a seven-million dollar gift, which was the largest philanthropic donation of its kind at that time when Johns Hopkins was founded. So there has always been this legacy of giving back and we try and celebrate that. We aim to say thank you to all of our alumni, friends and supporters who donate their time, talent, and treasure back to campus,” Federline said.

Step Up hopes to encourage students to consider the effort and time of those who make possible the various events and elements of student life at Hopkins.

“I think Step Up is important because sometime you forget all the behind-the-scenes stuff that lets us do what we want to and Step Up inspires people to realize how events like Spring Fair and Octoberfest and funded in part by donors,” junior Allie Baker, a member of Step Up, said. “We encourage the students to give back when they graduate but we also would like to educate the students about what the donations to the school do and what they go towards.”

Besides monetary donations, Step Up urges students to consider and appreciate other forms of philanthropy.

“We do recognize philanthropy as obviously the money donations that come in but also [as] the time that people and students give and what they do in their community service and clubs,” Hernandez said.

Several students reaffirmed this sentiment, emphasizing the presence of philanthropy on campus.

“I definitely think that the philanthropy at Hopkins is visible whether it is events like Spring Fair, renovations to buildings or scholarships. I am proud that I’m at a school where philanthropy is so strong,” sophomore Alex Surget said.

Junior Nathalia Gibbs agreed.

“It’s great. . .how there are lots of individuals and organizations on campus that give back to the community,” Gibbs said.

Beyond educating students about philanthropy overall, Step Up hopes that students will give back to Hopkins and the greater community during their time on campus or as alumni.

“There are a lot of ways to give back not just to Hopkins but to the community as well and we encourage students to choose one of these endless options,” senior Step Up member Michael Ketcha said.

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