Joy Given and Received
Inclement weather aside, Giving Joy Day delivers again for students.
On a wet and windy Monday in April — the day after the university marked its 140th birthday — EWU celebrated Giving Joy Day, the seventh annual iteration of its flagship service and philanthropy event. By the time the final totals were in, members of the Eagle community had overcome the elements to spread much joy and raise more than $345,000.
The funds, Giving Joy Day organizers say, will support student scholarships and programs that provide assistance with books, tuition and other education expenses. The donations will also help fill financial gaps for Eagles who are struggling to afford increases in the cost of food, transportation and housing.
The donations will also help fill financial gaps for Eagles who are struggling to afford increases in the cost of food, transportation and housing.
As in previous years, a team of Eastern staff and alumni volunteers spent the days prior to the event bringing the joy of balloons, chocolate and Eagle swag to alumni-owned businesses. The day itself kicked off with David May, then Eastern’s interim president, and a team of EWU faculty and staff visiting the Spokane Regional Health District to thank the health professionals for their work during the pandemic. The SRHD staff includes close to 60 Eastern alumni.
Dozens of Eastern students, meanwhile, stepped up to emphasize the importance of the April 4 event, providing heartfelt stories about the life-changing effects of the scholarships they’d received. These were posted on the Giving Joy Day website and social media channels, as well as a special day-long broadcast on KEWU. In addition, a revolving group of students managed a booth where students could write thank-you notes to scholarship supporters. A steady flow of students dropped by to pen those special messages.
Later, interim President May weighed in with a campus message highlighting the contributions made by Eastern’s faculty, staff and students. He also invited the Eagle community to come together to make a positive impact.
“As a part of our Eagle family, I hope that you will join me on Giving Joy Day in spreading joy and making a difference in the lives of our students,” he said. “With all that has happened in the last two years — and all that is happening in the world today — acts of kindness and joy, big or small, remind us to celebrate that we are all a community of Eagles.”
Gifts that support scholarships and the Student Emergency Fund have the most direct impact, providing opportunities for students and helping them succeed, May said, adding that the Eagle community could also make a difference by connecting students with internship opportunities, volunteering for a good cause and even “buying coffee for the person behind you in line.”