A gift of time, talent, or financial resources is a reminder of the work we do. I am a product of individuals making those investments and believe that I have a responsibility to give back to those who lifted me up.
As an undergraduate student at Georgia State University, the Dean of Students offered to take me out to lunch and as we stepped up to pay, she paid for both our meals. This one small act is etched into my memories as a profound reminder of the value of connecting and being in relationship with students, colleagues, or friends. I cannot tell you all the details of our conversation, but her actions to this day remind me why I work in Student Affairs and why from an early point in my career I have prioritized giving back.
People ask why I choose to take part of my disposable income and give to NASPA. It is a great question, but one I cannot easily answer. My late mother instilled in me early on that every day I have on this earth is an important one to make a change for someone. NASPA has been a conduit for change and growth professionally from attending a conference or volunteering with the Student Leadership Programs Knowledge Community. I see myself volunteering with NASPA throughout my career and so I choose to give my time and treasure.
As a younger professional, I am aware of the demands each dollar in my life has put on them. For me, choosing to drink one less diet coke or pack my lunch two extra days a week, gives me the ability to support NASPA in some meaningful ways. When I first started giving to NASPA it was $10 here or $20 there because that’s all I could do. As I have been fortunate to grow professionally, I have found a monthly gift to be a great way to support NASPA’s work.
A monthly gift of $10 is giving up one or two cups of coffee, $20 equates to bringing lunch two or three extra times a month, and a $50 monthly commitment equates to eating dinner at home two extra nights a month or bringing lunch for almost all of the month, which breaks down giving. The unexpected lesson learned through giving is that the things you value, motivate you to find the way.
I believe that college students and my peers in student affairs have the ability to change the world. My gift to NASPA supports the important work we do and is part of the time, talent, and treasure I share with my students. I am proud to give to NASPA and encourage you to join me in making whatever gift you can!
Benjamin Williams, Associate Program Director, Georgia Institute of Technology
Help support the work of the NASPA Foundation this #GivingTuesday
#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in countries around the world. Millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live. Today, Tuesday, November 27 is #GivingTuesday!