Guilford Shares open to students for first time

Guilford is known to be a caring community, but now the Guilford Shares Giving Campaign is trying to turn that caring into sharing.

The Guilford Shares Giving Campaign is an annual campaign that gives faculty, administration and staff the chance to donate money to one of three charities: United Way, United Arts Council or Earth Share.

“Through this campaign, Guilford gives back to our community and makes a difference in the lives of countless people and families in Greensboro, North Carolina and beyond,” according to the official donation website.

Kent Chabotar, president and professor of political science, initiated the campaign in 2001 in order to expand Guilford’s giving opportunities.

“When Kent Chabotar came on board he really wanted to make it more, more of the campus coming together as a community to give back to the community we are part of,” said Information Systems Project Manager and Support Sonya Mitchell, one of the tri-chairs of the Guilford Shares Committee.

The campaign has a new aspect to it this year: For the first time, students are allowed to participate.

“We are very excited that students are involved,” said Assistant to the President for Planning and Management Jeff Favolise in an email. “This year, at the beginning of the campaign, we talked to both student government chairs, attended Senate and CCE SGA, and we received their overwhelming support. They are working to get the word out and increase participation.”

Over the years the program has expanded drastically. Eight years ago barely $3,000 were raised, but last year there was 49-percent participation and $24,619 was raised. Organizers hope that this number will continue to increase with the addition of the student body to the contributors.

“This is a very special Guilford-wide effort that puts our values to action and compassionately serves the needs of our community,” said Favolise.

All of the participating charities are active within the local Greensboro community. United Way works to improve people’s quality of life through various aspects such as education and health care. United Arts Council supports artistic programs and opportunities within Greensboro and strives to transform Greensboro into a cultural hub. Earth Share helps protect the environment through educational, water, land and clean-air programs.

“It’s good to stand up and say what you’re not about, but this is a way to say this is what I am about, this is what I believe in,” said Mitchell. “I don’t believe in greed and I do believe in sharing.”

The campaign ends today. Students can now be a part of this by donating into the boxes located around campus.

“The donation boxes that we have are dream boxes; every box that you look at is someone’s dream,” said Mitchell. “There are hundreds of people who dream of making something happen to the world, and when you put a dollar in that box, you’re investing in that person’s dream.”