In my first three months here at the State University of New York, I’ve learned a lot about its sheer size, scale, and power. With more than 400,000 students on campuses throughout New York, we have a remarkable ability to make a big impact across the State and its economy. And as the weather turns colder and the days get shorter, we welcome in the season of giving with SUNY’s 30 Days of Giving campaign, which highlights some of the charitable work being done by our students, faculty, and staff in every region.
It’s our job as educators to create opportunities for the next generation to enjoy life by learning, allowing them to find their passion and pursue meaningful work. Fundamentally, we help our students find ways to influence and improve society, and in this spirit we encourage the experiential element of community service for all students. From national service organizations to local advocacy groups, there are so many options to get involved with and make a difference.
During last year’s 30 Days of Giving campaign, the fifth anniversary of this effort, we saw more well-organized community service efforts than before as campuses held various donation drives for children, art shows, clothing and food drives, and much more. Now in 2017, our efforts are growing again.
The week I started as a Chancellor, I asked us all to come together and be #SUNYStrong to raise money for the recovery efforts in the hurricane-affected areas in Texas. That effort was so successful that we turned our attention to Florida and the Caribbean. Volunteers donated tens of thousands of dollars to purchase goods for the recovery effort, all of which was brought down south aboard SUNY Maritime’s Empire State VI. It was a fantastic effort. And earlier this year, volunteers at SUNY filled the 20,000th comfort bag for victims of sexual and interpersonal violence in New York via the SUNY’s Got Your Back program.
These are just two examples of the collective good our system can do when we work together.
As we prepare for the 2017 30 Days of Giving, we’re eager to see even more incredible stories of SUNY campuses giving back. The spirit of generosity is strong at SUNY, and I am proud for us all to be able to share these stories with you.
Follow along with all of the stories below.
Dr. Kristina M. Johnson is the 13th Chancellor of The State University of New York.