The Impact of Giving Back

Friday, November 24, 2017

Kendra holding thank you sign

Written by Kendra Fortin (Recreation and Leisure Studies, In Progress) 

November 28th is Giving Tuesday, an international event which promotes the spirit of generosity. With the holidays just around the corner, countless sales have the malls buzzing with shoppers trying to get the best deal. After splurging on yourself and loved ones, consider creating a lasting impact by donating to the University of Waterloo.

It was around this time three years ago when I received my acceptance letter to UWaterloo. I was sitting on the couch when my phone buzzed, alerting me of an incoming email message. I had just applied a few weeks prior, so I was shocked to see the iconic black and gold banner telling me “you’re in.” UWaterloo had been my top choice throughout the application process. Its reputation and co-op program was unmatched to the other schools I had toured.

I come from a small town in Ontario called Port Elgin. Although most wouldn’t consider Waterloo region to be a bustling metropolis, it sure felt far removed from the lakes, rivers and forests I grew up next too. To say that I was nervous for the first few weeks of university is an understatement.

During the prior summer I was the recipient of two scholarships from UWaterloo. Scholarships are fantastic as they lift significant financial burdens, however, it’s often easy to forget about the caring donors and alumni who are behind the much coveted cheques. In the middle of stressing about courses, finding classes and making friends, the Office of Advancement gave me a call. I was informed that the donors who made my scholarships possible were interested in meeting with me over lunch. As a first year student in a sea of thousands, I was shocked as to how much alumni and donors cared about both my education and well-being.

When walking around campus, I am constantly reminded of the important role donors play at UWaterloo. Whether I’m studying in Hagey Hub or checking out fossils in the Earth and Science Museum, UWaterloo supporters have shaped my university experience, giving me opportunities, skills and memories that will be valuable throughout my life.

I would like to thank those who have supported UWaterloo in the past. The longevity and impact of your gifts are truly immeasurable. During special hours on November 28th, generous alumni will be matching donations made to UWaterloo. Follow @uwaterlooalumni on twitter to find out how you can double your impact. This year on Giving Tuesday consider giving back by supporting the University of Waterloo and make a difference in the lives of students like me.