As we approach the NASPA Annual Day of Giving on November 27, our NASPA Region VI-West colleagues reflect on their journey and commitment to NASPA through giving to the NASPA Foundation. These NASPA members are making it real for other members to consider their opportunities to give and support NASPA initiatives that make a difference.
Why I Give: Veronica Riepe, Director, Student Involvement, University of Nebraska
I am fortunate enough to have been raised in a family that believed strongly in giving. We did not have a lot of money, but my parents were generous with their time and talent and gave what they were able to financially. They continually reminded us that we benefitted in various ways by those that came before us and if we wanted things to continue to improve we needed to pay it forward. I promised myself that when I had the opportunity to buy lunch, a cup of coffee, or dinner for a student I would just like people too numerous to count did for me. That I would donate anytime a student asked that was doing a fundraiser for their student organization, just like the faculty and staff did when I asked. I do not give a lot of money, but every $10-20 makes a difference. Sometimes we think that if we cannot give $100, $500 or $1000 it isn’t worth it, but it is because it adds up. Together our individual contributions amount to more than any individual can give.
I graduated from college 25 years ago. At that time, I was making car and student loan payments trying to make ends meet and I would not have even considered giving to NASPA or any professional association. However, as I think about it, I was giving to my alma mater. My first pledge to my undergraduate institution was to our senior gift and it was $93 paid over 3 years. I graduated in 1993—get it!! I committed to donating $31 a year because I knew I could do that and it was the least I could do for a place I truly called home, introduced me to life-long friends, and gave me the love of Student Affairs that I have today. I choose to give to organizations that mean something to me. I give to my alma maters, to local non-profits, to houses of worship, and agencies that were there for my family when we needed them. I choose to pay it forward to help the next individual that needs the support.
I support the NASPA Foundation because of what it means to me and our profession. I have made dear friends because of my NASPA involvement. I am a proud member of the 2017 SERVE Academy class. I have gained skills and increased my knowledge of higher education because of NASPA. I have created change in Region IV-West because of my NASPA involvement. My life is richer because of NASPA. I am in a better position financially to give to NASPA today than I was 25 years ago when I graduated college, so I give. As I reflect, I am reminded that it is not always the amount you give, but that you give. My $93 was not a lot of money, but I gave. NASPA is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, what if you committed to give $100 over the next three years not because someone asks, but because you want to give and your life is richer because of your NASPA experience.