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UBC Okanagan hosts first-ever Giving Day

It’s a marathon of a different kind. And one that will benefit students at UBC’s Okanagan campus for years to come.

This Wednesday, UBC Okanagan will hold its first-ever Giving Day—a 24-hour giving challenge where the community is being encouraged to raise funds to improve on-campus student experiences.

“Giving Days are popular at universities in the US—sometimes raising millions of dollars—and they are growing in popularity in Canada,” explains Director of Development Adrienne Nolan. “The day brings donors, alumni, friends and the community together for one full day to support students.”

People can contribute to UBC Okanagan Heat athletics, UBCycles, the Building Academic Retention Through K9s (BARK) program, the Library Innovative Fund and many other projects that will benefit students across the campus.

“For example, there are 11 Giving Day projects,” explains Nolan. “If each project receives at least $25 by 11:11 a.m., an additional $25 will be donated to each fund.”

One of the 11 campaigns is a walk-in wellbeing clinic. Initiated last fall as a five-week pilot project the clinic is now open every Thursday and provides a free walk-in mental health clinic for students, faculty, staff and the public. It operates as part of the clinical psychology program, providing clinical PhD students training experience learning directly from the registered clinical psychologists.

“We are really trying to change the face of healthcare,” says Associate Professor Lesley Lutes who is director of clinical training. “I want to see care for physical health and mental health viewed together as a necessity. Mental health services should be just as accessible and a right that everyone has.”

On March 6, the online campaign starts with specific challenges that boost donors’ support.

“Giving Days are enhanced by competition and matched funding to inspire giving from as large an audience as possible,” says Nolan. “We have an engineering challenge and if 10 people from the School of Engineering donate a minimum of $25 each to the UBCO Motorsports project, Bliss Bridal will match their gifts by donating $250 to the project.”

There is also an alumni challenge, where the project that gets the most support from UBC alumni will receive an additional $500. For those who are into fitness, there is a Hangar Equipment Challenge that will see Flaman Fitness contribute $500 if 15 people donate a minimum of $15 each to the Hangar equipment fund.

To make sure everyone can get involved, there is a campus-wide event on University Way from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For $2 participants can enjoy a hot dog and ice cream, while visiting with the Heat mascot and BARK therapy dogs or snapping a photo with the UBCO Motorsports’ Formula race car OgopoGO19.

“We’re calling on the entire campus community to come together and give, share and spread the word—all in support of students at UBC Okanagan,” adds Nolan. “Giving Day is your chance to make a big difference in students’ lives. We’re asking everyone to please help make Giving Day a success by donating to your favourite cause, spreading the word and encouraging your friends and family to participate.”

Contributors can connect online and share their support of Giving Day using #DayoftheOK on social media. Specific challenges, real-time updates and full details can be found at: ok.ubc.ca/giving-day

About UBC’s Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.