Tuesday, August 16, 2022

UNCW alumni support university, residents in need

Through a campus fundraising challenge, UNCW and several community partners were able to provide close to 400 meals to families in need Tuesday. Photos by Jeff Janowski.
Through a campus fundraising challenge, UNCW and several community partners were able to provide close to 400 meals to families in need Tuesday. Photos courtesy Jeff Janowski.

UNC-Wilmington has, as its core mission, a focus on community–both on and off the campus.

Last month, Seahawks showed that spirit by donating to their alma mater while also providing a holiday meal to hundreds of local residents.

In November, UNCW officials organized the first Hawks for Hunger campaign–a challenge to students and alumni to give to their college. For every donation, campaign partners would feed a person in need.

And the challenge was accepted, Missy Kennedy, UNCW’s Chair of Annual Giving, said.

Eddie Stuart, Vice Chancellor of Advancement, hands out food at Freedom's Way Ministries.
Eddie Stuart, Vice Chancellor of Advancement, hands out food at Freedom’s Way Ministries.

In addition to receiving nearly $49,500 in contributions, 380 bags of food–filled with turkey, collards, canned goods, sweet potatoes and bread–were assembled and distributed today at Freedom’s Way Ministries. The food was donated by UNCW Campus Dining, Feast Down East and Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C.

“We already know alumni and students believe in making a difference in the community,” Kennedy said. “This just further shows that when you invest in the university, it also makes a difference in the community.”

Eddie Stuart, Vice Chancellor of Advancement, agreed.

“I think this is a really clever way to link our commitment to the community, to empower alumni to connect with the community,” he said.

UNCW worked with WRAAP (Wilmington’s Residential Adolescent Achievement Place) to help identify people who would benefit from Hawks for Hunger. WRAAP is an after-school and outreach program that works with high-risk communities.

“The average income for the people we work with is $14,000 for a family of four. The need to fill in the food gap is critical,” WRAAP director Daryl Dockery said. “And it’s needed now more than ever. We have working families that are still poor. We are very fortunate to have UNCW partnering with us. This helps us address our needs.”

Money raised during the Hawks for Hunger campaign will go toward a variety of programs and scholarships. As in other fundraising drives, the recent challenge allowed donors to specify where on campus they want their money to be spent.

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at (910) 772-6341 or hilary.s@hometownwilmington.com

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