The national, grassroots initiative #GivingTuesday was created in 2012 to encourage charitable giving at the beginning of the holiday season. Since then, billions of dollars have been given online to nonprofit organizations in the United States as part of #GivingTuesday.
Yesterday at Cedarville University, 329 donors contributed $1,065,866 to the university through its #GivingTuesday campaign. In 2018, Cedarville raised $150,000 from 221 donors.
The university celebrated this day of giving with its first-ever Christmas tree lighting ceremony, held at the Stevens Student Center Lakeside Plaza. Hundreds of faculty, staff, students and friends of the university participated in the holiday festivities.
“The Lord was gracious to us on #GivingTuesday, as generous supporters invested in our students and our mission,” said Dr. Thomas White, president of Cedarville University. “Our goal was $150,000, but thanks to people who believe in the work we are doing at Cedarville, we exceeded this goal by more than 700%. We are so thankful to our partners in ministry, and we give all the glory to God for his continued blessings upon us.”
The new Christmas lighting tradition featured a 32-foot “Giving Tree,” with ornaments that displayed names of individuals who gave to the university on #GivingTuesday as well as more than 15,000 white lights.
“The tree lighting ceremony is about people coming together to celebrate a commitment to Cedarville University,” said Rick Melson, vice president for advancement. “The blue and silver ornaments represent financial partners who made a gift, and the gold ornaments represent the doubling impact of a $55,000 matching gift from generous donors. The tree itself is a visible demonstration of the generosity of faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, and friends who love and support Cedarville University’s mission. It is also a poignant reminder of the greatest Gift – Jesus Christ – whose birth we celebrate at this Christmas season.”