(Thanks)Giving Tuesday

Here at Coastline we want to take a moment to talk about what #GivingTuesday (arriving December 1st) means to us, and, more importantly, to students.

A flotation device representing GivingTuesday

As of the publication of this blog, Thanksgiving is actually yet to finish, or even begin. So I’ll start by wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! But I’d like to jump ahead a week to discuss a very important day in the calendar: GivingTuesday.

GivingTuesday began in 2012 and is in fact spelled as one word (I checked!). According to the GivingTuesday Organization, it started as “a day that encourages people to do good.” Over the last seven years, it has morphed into an opportunity for organizations all around the United States to ask for further help and charity, becoming the largest, concentrated day of giving in the U.S.

While fundraising is relentless, GivingTuesday offers organizations a chance to, essentially, grab people’s attention, to hopefully clutch and hold everyone’s untethered focus, which has been exacerbated, like so many things, by the pandemic.

A cup of coffee next to a list with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday written on it.

In some ways, this GivingTuesday is the same as always. But, and here comes that pesky pandemic again, in many ways it’s different. People need help now more than ever. All across the globe and across the United States folks are struggling with sickness, unexpected death, unemployment, stress, anxiety, fear. These feelings are relentless and press, sometimes lightly, sometimes heavily, down on our shoulders and thoughts.

Here at Coastline, we have our own GivingTuesday fundraising. We have a community of students who came from disadvantaged backgrounds and have been harder hit still by the pandemic. They’ve lost jobs that helped them pay rent and pay for groceries; they’ve lost opportunities; perhaps they’ve had to put their education on the back burner while they look for work or take on multiple jobs. The added stresses and anxieties don’t help at all.

A group of volunteers prepares food during a food drive.

EOPS stands for Extended Opportunity Programs and Services; at Coastline, EOPS supplies financial, academic, and personal help to low-income and disadvantaged students. As was written in a previous blog, here some of the things that define a disadvantaged student:

  • Speak a language other than English at home.
  • Being a first-generation college student.
  • Graduated from high school with a G.P.A below 2.50 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Current or former foster youth.
  • Not a high school graduate or did not obtain a GED.
  • Be from an underrepresented group.

As well some of the services EOPS offers includes:

  • Priority registration.
  • Counseling and advisement.
  • Transfer assistance.
  • Workshops on study skills, transfer requirements, time management, resume writing, and much more.
  • Trips to local colleges.
  • Classroom supplies.
  • EOPS grants (amount varies).
  • Funds to purchase textbooks (amount varies).
  • Bus passes and/or gas cards.

EOPS is an essential service to students. Former student Artis Knox wrote in a testimonial:

Upon my release from prison, I immediately made my way to Coastline’s Fountain
Valley campus. Sergio in the admissions department introduced me to the wonderful staff in the EOPS office and EOPS connected me with the CARE program. With their goodwill and dedication, both departments worked to assist me in every area they could. My life has been riding a wave of positive momentum generated within the hearts of individuals committed to progressive change. However, I believe my transformation would not have been possible without the assistance of the EOPS department. The many services EOPS has provided for me and my children have impacted my life in a positive way.

A computer keyboard with a "Donate" button.

Wrappin’ It Up

During the pandemic, the aspects that make a disadvantaged student disadvantaged are underlined, highlighted, drawn in starker lines. GivingTuesday offers a concentrated opportunity for us to make our voices heard simply by giving others the chance to use and develop their voice.

The Coastline College Foundation is looking for donations to reach, or exceed, their $20,000 fundraising goal. This money will go to continue providing the support that students need in order to grow, develop, achieve, and succeed. Getting textbooks, helping pay rents, providing food and financial aid, are all some of the ways your money will help.

Students and people everywhere, but I’ll speak to Coastline right now, need to feel secure and safe in their personal lives in order to thrive academically. It’s essential. So this GivingTuesday let’s do our part to get Coastline students there.

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