Giving Day is when University of South Florida alumni, family and friends come together to support a wide array of university initiatives that propel students to succeed, keep them on track to graduate and fund innovative programs and research that enrich the community. After a difficult year such as 2020, Giving Day has transformed into Giving Week, a virtual event that will be celebrated by the USF community all over the world.
On USF’s St. Petersburg campus, donations provided during Giving Week will reduce the costs of course materials, support the campus food pantry and provide needed funds to help students manage financial emergencies.
Mark your calendars for April 5–9, 2021, and read more about the important initiatives to support. These initiatives ensure that vital resources are available to students and help secure their future.
Make Textbooks Accessible to All Students: This initiative was launched to reduce the costs of course materials and has already saved the student body more than $1 million over the past five years. That equates to a drop in the cost of course materials from $44 to $26 per credit hour, saving each student hundreds of dollars per semester if they take a full course load.
Started in 2016 to address the rising costs of textbooks and other educational materials used in classrooms, the initiative has spurred the campus to amass a combination of textbooks on reserve, e-books and online journal articles that are available to students.
“We are always trying to find new ways that make education affordable to students who are already working so hard and trying to save as much money as they can,” said Cathi Cardwell, regional associate vice chancellor of academic affairs and dean of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library. “With the sharp rise in prices, university libraries have realized they needed to play a part in solving this problem. This initiative is a really good example of how a discipline can shift and change to meet students’ needs.”
A gift will make textbook and e-book resources affordable and accessible to students.
Support Our Market and Support-a-Bull: When the pandemic began, the campus food pantry sprang into action. The panty has given out nearly 4,300 pounds of food to more than 200 students in need since the campus went largely remote more than a year ago. It has been generously supported during this time by the community, with nearly 4,650 pounds of donated food items.
“We are tremendously thankful that when the demand increased for the services we provide here, our donors and their donations increased to match it,” said Joseph Contes, the assistant director of student outreach and support who manages the Support-A-Bull Market.
The pantry has transitioned to online ordering to promote social distancing and provides food items ranging from pasta and breads to fruits and vegetables. Hygiene products, including soap and toothpaste, are also available. The pantry receives a monthly food donation from RCS Pinellas, and financial support from the university’s Town and Gown organization. In addition, thanks to a partnership with SPCA Tampa Bay, the pantry provides food for dogs and cats.
A gift will help keep the shelves stocked and assemble take home bags for students facing food insecurity.
Help a Bull Stay AFLOAT: The Stay AFLOAT scholarship fund helps students during financial emergencies. It aims to make college more accessible by alleviating some of the financial hardships that can result from unforeseen circumstances.
The COVID-19 pandemic created new challenges for many students, including lost jobs and decreased financial support. Stay AFLOAT is designed to provide “acts of kindness” to keep students on track and towards graduation.
“When I was a college student, we were a few days away from the next payday and a fan belt broke on the car,” said Martin Tadlock, regional chancellor of the USF St. Petersburg campus, recounting how a little financial help went a long way for his educational journey. “We had no money to replace the belt and needed the car in order to get to class. It was the ‘last straw’ in a series of events that left us on the edge of dropping out of college. Fortunately, the shop let us post-date a check, and that one act of kindness let us make it until payday and continue going to class.”
A gift will support students who have experienced unexpected financial hardships so they can continue towards their college degree.
Learn more about Giving Week.