‘Let’s Grow Akron’ receives $850 donation at Impact Luncheon


Kristina Aiad-Toss

The faculty who attended the luncheon socialize on the topic of the day before the food is served.

By Kristina Aiad-Toss, News Writer

As part of National Volunteer Week, UA’s Department of Student Life hosted the UA Impact Luncheon. Faculty and students gathered for the event on Tuesday, April 14 in the Union.

Alison Doehring, assistant director of Student Life, organized the event to engage students, staff, and faculty in service using an easier and more indirect way.

Sixteen people, mostly faculty, attended the event. Each brought a donation of $25 and nominated one charity, non-profit, or other charitable project.

The names of each organization were placed in a basket and three were drawn at random. Following the selection, the nominators of the three charities told other attendees about the philanthropy and significance of his or her nomination, and why it was chosen.

The event was planned so the entity with the most nominations would receive all of the $25 donations. But things changed when one individual offered to match the event’s overall donations if all the other attendees chose the non-profit that that individual nominated.

Therefore, instead of the originally nominated entity, Impact Luncheon raised $850 for the charity called “Let’s Grow Akron.”

Let’s Grow Akron is a local non-profit that provides environmental education and awareness.

According to the organization’s Facebook page, Let’s Grow Akron “creates and supports community gardens and beautification sites in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh food and green space.”

Many of the faculty who attended this event recognize the importance of serving others and the effects it can have.

“I think the thing about nonprofits is that they do a lot with very little and they rely on donations and volunteers,” said Lauren Garcia-DuPlain, a professor who works with UA’s Pay it Forward Program. “I think when you’re in college it’s really easy to forget about the outside world, so increasing awareness about service is extremely important on campus. Students should start young and get involved in helping others, because that is what really helps communities grow.”

Instead of typical hands-on service events, this luncheon was intended for busy people who wanted to serve in an indirect, but powerful, way.

The event was a new addition to UA’s celebration of National Volunteer Week. Doehring plans to host the Impact Luncheon four times throughout each year in the future.