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6th annual Sun Devil Giving Day on tap for ASU

What will you give on #SunDevilGiving Day?
March 16, 2018

All members of the ASU community are invited to give to the areas of the university they care most about on March 22

If it's late March and you hear cheers and boos coming from Stuart Rice's office, don't be too alarmed.

Odds are that the Arizona State University graduate student and EdPlus creative designer is simply reacting to a recent donation made on Sun Devil Giving Day, his various mood swings coming as he tracks the contributions made either to his school — the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College — or another college following closely behind his. 

"Last year I got really annoyed at the law college, but cheered when a large donation came through for Mary Lou Fulton," Rice said. "I know it's childish, but it's part of the fun."

Rice was one of over 3,000 donors whose gifts totaled $3,222,522 on Giving Day one year ago. The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ended up leading the way, seeing its donations tally over $1.45 million.

Last year saw an increase from the nearly 2,600 donors that gave in 2016, and ASU is hoping to see that number grow again when Giving Day 2018 rolls around on March 22.

"It is an important day for ASU in the way it shows [the] commitment and impact that Sun Devils can provide," said Patrick Hanson, an ASU student and Rice's spouse.

In the past, Hanson has also donated to the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, as well as the Schoolpart of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions of Community Resources and Development, where he is a nonprofit leadership and management major.

"Sun Devil Giving Day is a great way for me to give back to my community of Sun Devils," he said.

This year will mark the university's sixth annual Giving Day, which started as a way to celebrate and encourage gifts in support of ASU. All members of the ASU community — alumni, parents, fans, friends, faculty, staff and students — are invited to give to the areas of the university they care most about. 

The ASU Foundation later came up with the idea of turning the day into a competition between the university's different colleges and schools. The community, team-style aspect that the day has taken on keeps things entertaining for Rice and others. 

"Who doesn’t like a challenge?" Rice said.

He and Hanson start their Sun Devil Giving Day by waking up and posting the initative on their social media accounts. After that, it's time to donate and follow the Giving Day tracker.

"It’s all about the impact of a lot of people moving the needle in the same direction," Rice said. "Even though giving at any time of the year helps the university carry out its charter, Sun Devil Giving Day makes it a community process." 

"[It's] a single day that can show an instant measurable way of giving," Hanson said.

Sun Devil Giving Day runs from midnight to 11:59 p.m. March 22 and donations are made on the website or secured through the Sun Devil Giving outreach center (Tell-a-Devil Network). The site will display a real-time dashboard showing the total amount of donors and which units have collected the most money.

Gifts will be deposited with the ASU Foundation and may be considered a charitable contribution. For more information or to donate, visit givingday.asu.edu.

Top photo: Stuart Rice holds up a sticky note indicating that he will be donating to the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College on Sun Devil Giving Day. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASUNow

ASU Staff Helping Staff donations help people 'stand shoulder to shoulder' with those in need


March 19, 2018

Carloyn Starr has a simple plan for how she can help her fellow Arizona State University staff members.

“If I stop drinking a soda a day, that money can go toward ASU’s Staff Helping Staff Fund and potentially change one of my coworker’s lives,” said Starr, senior program coordinator of Global Outreach and Extended Education on ASU’s Polytechnic campus. A senior program coordinator on ASU’s Polytechnic Campus, Carolyn Starr displays a photo of her mother who she was able to visit with the help of the Staff Helping Staff Fund. Carolyn Starr, senior program coordinator on ASU’s Polytechnic campus, displays a photo of her mother who she was able to visit with the help of the Staff Helping Staff Fund. Photo by Philamer Batangan Download Full Image

A previous recipient of funds from Staff Helping Staff, Starr uses this rationalization in her own commitment to pay forward what she received from the fund. 

Staff Helping Staff provides financial assistance to full-time ASU staff in need. All donations directly benefit ASU staff members who face unexpected emergencies and apply for aid.

“As staff members, this provides an opportunity to donate to a fund that helps those we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with every day,” said Patricia Odle, ASU Staff Council treasurer. 

Joel Hansen, a carpenter for ASU’s Tempe campus carpentry services, looked to Staff Helping Staff when a torn ACL prevented him from working for three months.

“I was kind of in a bad spot but that’s when I remembered about Staff Helping Staff and they really helped me out when I needed it,” he said.

A carpenter for ASU’s Tempe campus, Joel Hansen comes back to work after the Staff Helping Staff Fund eased his recovery from a torn ACL.
A carpenter for ASU’s Tempe campus, Joel Hansen comes back to work after the Staff Helping Staff Fund eased his recovery from a torn ACL. Photo by Philamer Batangan

A donor himself prior to his accident, Hansen already knew about the Staff Helping Staff fund. With medical bills and no paycheck, he reached out for assistance on his mortgage payment.

“I’d donated to [the fund but] I didn’t realize how valuable it was until I needed help,” Hansen said.

Starr didn’t learn about the program until her mother fell gravely ill. With more than a thousand miles between them, Starr urgently needed to get to her mother’s bedside but didn’t have the means. With support from the Staff Helping Staff fund, Starr was able to be with her mother.

“It makes me tear up just thinking that my fellow staff members said as a collective, ‘Hey, we’re going to chip in and we’re going to send you to your mom,’” Starr recalled.  “I came home and immediately signed up to have money taken out of my paycheck. It’s a neat feeling knowing that I have been able to give back to that fund so much more than it ever gave me.”

Stephen Potter, ASU Staff Council president, states that more than 20 people donate to the Staff Helping Staff fund every pay period, and some give one-time gifts each year, which has allowed the fund to help 30 staff members to date.

“There’s no hard rule,” Potter said, “but awards generally range between $500 and $750. It really depends on the need.”

“I’d donated to [the fund but] I didn’t realize how valuable it was until I needed help.” 
— Joel Hanson, ASU Tempe campus carpentry services

In response to Campaign ASU 2020, the Staff Council has committed themselves to increase and maintain a balance of at least $10,000 in the fund, which is managed by the ASU Foundation. To ensure confidentiality, all applications go to the employee assistance office; the Staff Council’s Scholarship and Fundraising Committee then screens the redacted applications. Gifts to the fund are tax deductible and can be made directly from ASU employee paychecks by signing up for a payroll deduction, which can be as little as $2.50 per paycheck.

“This is one of the most rewarding programs that the council does. So we hope to make the fund more visible, both to increase donations and to allow more people to benefit from it,” Potter said.

They will push to expand the program “in hopes that [we] would never have to turn anyone away,” Odle added. “As the staff continues to grow with the growth of our university, the needs of our fund grow as well.”

For more information about the Staff Helping Staff Fund, visit staffcouncil.asu.edu/fund. To make a donation to the Staff Helping Staff Fund, visit https://pitchfunder.asufoundation.org/staff. To provide a sustained gift through payroll deduction, go here.

Written by Shannon Ganzer, student writer/editor, ASU Enterprise Partners