Marshall participates in #GivingTuesday


Rob Engle

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams participates in the Marshall University #GivingTuesday activities at the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall Tuesday.

In an address at Marshall University’s Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall, Mayor Steve Williams issued a proclamation designating the Tuesday after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday as “Giving Tuesday” for the city of Huntington.

Giving Tuesday is a globally celebrated day that began in 2012 dedicated to philanthropy and volunteerism in communities. Giving Tuesday also brings together nonprofits, civic organizations, universities, businesses, families and individuals to encourage and amplify acts of kindness in the community.

Griffin Talbot, Program Director for the University Fund, said this day is particularly fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

“It is a purely social event where the hashtag ‘#givingtuesday’ is used throughout social media,” Talbot said. “It’s an opportunity for not only Marshall alumni but people around the world to give to a cause of their passion.”

The Foundation’s goal is to receive donations from 250 donors by the end of the day. Talbot said the money collected from donations will go toward the Marshall University Foundation Grant for West Virginia Students, a need-based fund for in-state student residents.

“Giving Tuesday gives us an opportunity to do that which we know isn’t just necessary, but our responsibility,” Williams said. “Those of us who attended this university have a gift that was provided to us that keeps on giving. Frankly, anyone who spent a moment on this campus, their lives are changed forever. Today gives us the opportunity to change other people’s lives.”

One life that has been changed by donations to Marshall is nursing student Tori Burdette, who spoke about how she was able to attend Marshall because of her donor.

“Because of your generosity, many students are able to take their dreams to the next level,” Burdette said. “For me personally, my dream would have never been achieved if it hadn’t been for my donor. You may think of yourself as some ordinary person, but to those students, you’re a blessing. I pray I am able to give back to Marshall the same kindness I have received.”

Williams echoed Burdette, saying people should consider donating to the university because often times they were financially assisted.

“As we have an opportunity to speak with anyone who spent time on this campus, you give because the gift was given to you,” Williams said.

Rob Engle can be contacted at [email protected]