As a new tradition to Augusta University’s annual Parent and Family Weekend, the Parent and Family Association reached out to the AU community to support an important cause — the “Open Paws” student food pantry.
Families planning to visit campus were asked to donate shelf-stable food items, school supplies and hygiene items to support students in need, and they answered the call. From Friday, Sept. 27, to Sunday, Sept. 29, over 40 pounds of food, $50 of monetary contributions and numerous toiletry items were donated by our Jaguar families.
The Parent and Family Association and Student Life and Engagement initiated the philanthropy project to get Jaguar families involved with the campus community in a meaningful way. Lyndsey Williams Mayweather, assistant director of Student Life and Engagement, knew the Open Paws Pantry was already an area of interest to Jaguar families.
“During Jaguar Nation Orientation and Welcome, we always have lots of questions from families on how they can donate to the pantry or give back to the university in general. Because of this, we felt adding a philanthropic activity would be a positive addition to the weekend.”
Jaguar families were moved by the call to action. “The comments we received from families were really positive,” says Williams Mayweather. “Visitors kept saying they were glad to know that other families care about students and are willing to donate. I heard comments like, ‘We’re happy to be able to give. It could be our student who needs help next.’ The families were really excited and proud.”
Advisers of Parent and Family Weekend plan to add a philanthropic component to the weekend every year, and the organization supported will be decided by the Family Board.
Philanthropy aside, Parent and Family Weekend was a resounding success this year. The most popular event was the “Jag Art” station where families could paint canvases to commemorate their weekend at AU.
For more information about the Open Paws Food Pantry, contact Gina Thurman, associate dean of students and director of student advocacy. To learn more about Parent and Family Weekend, visit the Parent and Family Association website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.