1st Place Winner: Terps Against Hunger
Terps Against Hunger is dedicated to raising awareness of hunger in the DC metro area by providing emergency food assistance to those in need. The group uses an efficient and low-cost process to package convenient, nutritious and non-perishable meals and distributes them to local families experiencing hunger. Since 2013, Terps Against Hunger has packaged and delivered more than 750,000 meals and was named the official University of Maryland homecoming community service event. During the 8-week Challenge, Terps Against Hunger hosted a Greek Week packaging event which collectively packaged 195,000 meals and raised $54,000. That is more than they collectively raised in the last two years and will enable them to pack more than 1,000,000 meals by the end of 2016.
2nd Place Winner: Preventing Sexual Assault
Preventing Sexual Assault is an on-campus student organization with the mission to spread awareness and take action to end sexual assault on the University of Maryland campus. During the Challenge, Preventing Sexual Assault organized a social media campaign connected to an “Occupy McKeldin Mall” event bringing attention to the issue of sexual assault, spreading awareness about resources available for victims and creating a campus culture of support. They leveraged connections with 12 student organizations, 13 departments and 52 Greek organizations including the Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct, the Provost and the Student Government Association. Preventing Sexual Assault was able to raise close to $8,000 for their Occupy McKeldin Mall event which featured sexual assault survivors Lili Bernard and Jennifer Kaya and a variety of activities and demonstrations.
3rd Place Winner: No Taboo. Period.
Many impoverished women in the DC area do not have adequate access to feminine hygiene products, such as pads and tampons, which can negatively impact their health and dignity. No Taboo. Period. aims to promote awareness about the necessity of access to feminine hygiene products for women experiencing extreme poverty or homelessness by providing local shelters with these products to distribute to women in the community. During the Challenge, No Taboo. Period. hosted on-campus collection drives gathering more than 6,000 products, which will provide 310 women with necessary menstrual toiletries for a month. All collected products are donated to the DC Diaper Bank, which serves 3,600 families through 30 different shelters. No Taboo. Period. also created a fundraising campaign, hosted educational and awareness events, volunteered at the DC Diaper Bank and created a portfolio of interviews with impoverished women in DC.
1st Place Winner: MedFund
Dedicated to supporting Bolivians who are unable to afford medical services or general healthcare, MedFund serves as a medical-aid program that addresses the greatest and most urgent needs of people living in extreme poverty. By partnering with Hospital de Clínicas in La Paz, Bolivia, MedFund identifies patients in need, shares their stories online, collects donations through crowdfunding and then provides direct financial assistance to those patients. MedFund has been able to support more than 500 patients since it was first founded. During the Challenge, MedFund expanded to three chapters at Columbia University, American Cooperative School and Universidad Catolica in Bolivia; created a partnership with the largest shopping center in La Paz to set-up a donation booth; and raised more than $9,000 and provided nearly $2,500 in patient care to more than 50 patients.
2nd Place Winner: Annie’s Children
Working to empower children in orphanages throughout developing countries, Annie’s Children is assembling and publishing folk story books translated into English and illustrated by children in Ukrainian orphanages. Since its founding, Annie’s Children has sold more than 200 books with more than $4,000 in revenue, which sponsored psychological training for the staff of the Ukrainian orphanage, bought 49 pairs of shoes, and funded a 2-week summer camp trip for 50 children. During the challenge, Annie’s Children created an Indiegogo campaign raising more than $1,200, ran social media promotion reaching 5,000 people and established partnerships with a local Montessori school and a Filipino orphanage. They are currently developing the next children’s book t featuring Filipino folk stories.
3rd Place Winner: Love Blanket Project
The mission of the Love Blanket Project is three-fold: to up-cycle and re-purpose T-shirts; to provide meaningful employment opportunities for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing; and to provide comfort to children battling chronic illness. Shirts from collection drives are sent to the partner organization, Deaf Initiatives, and returned as quilts ready to be donated to two area hospitals, the University of Maryland Medical Center and the Children’s National Health System. During the Challenge, Love Blanket Project leveraged nine partnerships including the UMD Greek Community, Corrigan Sports Entertainment and the Washington Wizards. Ultimately, they were able to collect 1,500 T-shirts, provide 200 hours of service, raise more than $11,000 and create 92 blankets, which provided $10,102 in wages to deaf individuals.
Do Good Challenge Showcase Participants
The following teams presented how they were able to Do Good during the 8-week long Challenge in the Riggs Alumni Center, preceding the Do Good Challenge from 6-7pm. Guests were able to vote with two Do Good Dollars for their favorite showcase groups. The top two Showcase participants had the chance to present on stage during the Finals event for a chance at $750 towards their cause.
Showcase Choice Award: A Helpful Hello
A Helpful Hello is an organization aiming to provide a way for people to interact positively with those experiencing homelessness. We provide “street cards” to students to hand out to those in need. Street cards are credit card-sized papers with resources and information for those experiencing homelessness printed on them. We hope that this will encourage people to approach those experiencing homelessness and engage in conversation with this person they may have otherwise ignored. This is important for both parties because it gives students a learning experience and the person experiencing homelessness the respect they deserve but do not usually get. As we give resources and restore dignity to those who have lost everything else, we can begin to take steps in the right direction towards ending the homeless cycle
Umttr @UMD is a student chapter of Umttr, an organization dedicated to bringing issues such as depression, mental health, and suicide into the public light. Umttr @UMD created a campaign to spread awareness about mental health, and this year became a recognized organization on campus with over 60 students in attendance at their first meeting. As a part of their establishment as a campus organization, Umttr @UMD hosted a kickoff event featuring former NBA player Mike Sweetney, who spoke about his struggles with mental health. During the Do Good Challenge, Umttr @UMD sold over 500 wristbands with the phrase “always remember umttr” and raised over 700 dollars. They also distributed 400 wristbands to the Health, Counseling, and Help Centers on campus and partnered with the University of Maryland Health Center, Active Minds, a Greek organization, and the Counseling Center. The 5,000 dollar Do Good Challenge grand prize would go to sponsoring events and organizations to raise awareness about mental health issues and provide funds to the University of Maryland for counseling services.
The Village Youth and Family Center
The Village Youth and Family Center is partnering with girls and their families to promote skills and connections so they can overcome life challenges. The Village has partnered with The Body Love Yoga Project to help girls develop a healthy sense of self and belonging. This winter they launched an after school program where young women will learn basic body awareness and relaxation techniques to support their goals, relationships, and personal development. During the Do Good Challenge they developed a one-day workshop that will be piloted later in May. They also recruited 3 new board members and have been actively been working to acquire grant funding. The 5,000 dollar Do Good Challenge grand prize would go to funding more after school programs and finance a financial need scholarship for girls who may be unable to pay for the program even with a sliding fee scale.
TurBinD is working to spread sustainable energy options by building small wind turbines to be used on campuses and in public areas as cell phone charging stations. In contrast to electricity generation from traditional wind farms, TurBinD aspires to promote sustainability by allowing people to connect directly with turbines and receive direct benefits. During the Do Good Challenge, they built a working prototype of their Turbine and began working to develop partnerships on campus to place working turbines around the University of Maryland, while also educating the campus about wind energy and its uses. With the 5,000 dollar Do Good Challenge grand prize, TurBind would produce a production grade Turbine and molds for future mass production.
The Voice strives to encourage personal growth and transformation in youth by providing a safe bridge between detained or at-risk youth and the larger community by hosting poetry exchanges and workshops in partnership with the Maya Angelou Academy. In 2015, The Voice participated in four poetry exchanges and piloted an essay exchange focusing on combating oppression. During the Do Good Challenge, the Voice partnered with Campaign for Youth Justice and Just Kids Maryland to host a screening of a documentary featuring perspectives from incarcerated youth, hosted a volunteer event where those in attendance could provide feedback on work written by incarcerated youth, and developed a partnership with Alternative Breaks to further encourage volunteerism. With the 5,000 dollar Do Good Challenge grand prize, the Voice would create a sustainable scholarship fund for at-risk youth involved in their program and further their partnership with The Choice Program at UMBC.
Cocoa Queens uses hair care products as a platform to increase awareness of breast cancer prevention strategies, specifically for African-American women. Hair care product packaging will incorporate information and resources on primary and secondary prevention of breast cancer (self exams and screenings). A percentage of proceeds will be used to create custom hairpieces for African-American women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. During the Do Good Challenge, Cocoa Queens established a partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation and a hair vendor to provide hair for the hairpieces. They also hosted 3 pop up shops to educate and promote breast health initiatives at the University of Maryland, Howard University, and Bowie State University. With the 5,000 dollar Do Good Challenge grand prize, Cocoa Queens would create their hair care line, with shampoo and conditioner, gel, and styling cream. They would also increase their hair inventory for hairpieces as opposed to receiving hair for individual orders to cut down on shipping time.
Mocha Difference's mission is to empower students at UMD to vote with their dollars and stop financially supporting labor exploitation in the products they buy. Labor exploitation is both a domestic and international issue. Over the years, many industries in the U.S. have come under fire for using exploited labor, be it sweatshops or child labor in the fields. Major clothing retailers like H&M and GAP have repeatedly been found to be using sweatshops that “scam workers out of cash” and suppress any attempts for the workers to unionize. During the Challenge, Mocha Difference completed outreach activities including their #CheckYourLabel campaign, reaching over 700 people to make them conscious of their coffee and clothing purchasing decisions. The group also created ethical buying guides and launched a website and pledge, asking readers to commit to changing their buying behavior. Their Do Good Challenge fundraising has concentrated on The Coffee Trust, an organization they have supported in its mission to empower Guatemalan coffee farmers by fundraising on UMD's campus.