Last Thursday, March 12th, was Cal Big Give. A day where friends, family, and everyone part of the UC Berkeley community could donate to support fundraising efforts for individual schools and programs. Current residents, including myself, and members of the I-House Resident Council, came together to rally support for the event by encouraging others to donate to I-House during the 24 hours of Big Give.
A week prior to the event, Resident Council members Mikey Mohan and Benny Corona wrote letters that were sent to former resident council members about the Nancy Stock Tivol Resident Council Match. Nancy, an I-House alumna who lived here between 1965 and 1967 and served on the Resident Council, pledged a challenge match if I-House were to receive at least 180 gifts before the event was over. With a $10 minimum donation, the Big Give team gathered support from I-House residents and staff who helped us exceed our giving goals before the 9 p.m. (PDT) deadline on March 12th.
The Big Give team brainstormed different ideas that would appeal to residents. A table was set up in the Great Hall on March 11th, with cakes and raffle tickets ready to hand out for those who donated. Due to new COVID-19 regulations around public gatherings, the coffee hour scheduled for that evening was canceled, however, students could still come to the Great Hall to study. For the Big Give team, this was a great opportunity to still reach out to students for their support. One idea was setting up a large tri-fold poster display and taping colorful notecards on it that residents signed after giving.
Poster display was a clever way to capture gratitude and keep count of our resident donations.
Sumedha Bhat, an I-House resident part of the Big Give team, helped implement the idea with Mohan.
“What gave us the idea was just brainstorming and discussing what would make us want to stop in our tracks and actually come to the Big Give table and ask questions about it. What would make us want to see our name up there?” she wrote in an email response. “The idea was to give a creative outlet to everyone who donates including a peek into their mindset around the concept of giving back.”
Many residents wrote warm messages on their cards describing their reason for giving:
“I give to I-House because every day here is a blessing of comfort & generosity & a true home away from home”—Aparna
“I give because I-House gave me amazing friends!!!”—Ryoko
“I give because I-House makes my life amazing”—Mikey
See our slideshow to view more residents’ reasons for giving:Click to view slideshow.
For me, I gave because I-House at UC Berkeley is a special place. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to live here as are many other residents. As a grad student I was able to have my own room, and dining including was definitely a plus. Before moving in, I watched several videos from the I-House YouTube channel and read previous resident reviews online to get a sense of what living here would be like. Now, as a Social Media Ambassador, I’m able to show others what fun it is by creating videos to help with Big Give and share my experience. I was glad to donate on Big Give to show my support and keep opportunities available to help future residents enjoy living here like I have.
Here I am pictured with Angela Rauch, giving out cakes, buttons and stickers to residents who donated during dinner on March 12th.
We made it easy to donate by using our digital screens and signs around the house with QR codes that linked directly to the donate page.
In the end, we exceeded our goal and made 204 total gifts for I-House! You can see the “Big Thanks” video that I made and the list of everyone who made a gift on our Big Give page.
While Big Give may be over, you can still support I-House by visiting their website at ihouse.berkeley.edu/support
Thank you for your support! Go Big Give!