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On Husky Giving Day, we all have a chance to make a difference

Tomorrow marks the return of Husky Giving Day, 24 hours in which our community rallies to support the incredible array of UW people, programs and services that transform not only students’ lives, but the lives of people and communities all over Washington and the world. Medical care, access, research breakthroughs, innovations and community engagement are all part of our public mission, and they all thrive because our community supports them.

Each year, thousands of us take this day as an opportunity to make a difference for the UW people and programs most personally meaningful to us  that inspire us to use our capacity for creating positive change.

This year, Husky Giving Day offers a new way to support our University’s highest priorities and most pressing needs across all three campuses with the introduction of the UW Fund. The UW Fund provides flexible funds to be nimble and responsive in how we improve the Husky Experience for students, creating more opportunities for engaged learning inside and outside the classroom. And it creates more inclusive and accessible campus environments, and supports the community partnerships, caregivers and research that make our University an asset to the state and the world.

While the UW Fund is new, the idea of using flexible funds to support key priorities is not. Last year, we were able to distribute $1.9M in flexible funds to programs and projects across all three campuses that focused on University priorities, including the Race and Equity and Population Health initiatives. We also supported ongoing work to help the communities most affected by pandemic and the Black Opportunity Funds at UW Bothell and  UW Tacoma. These funds supported student success and retention programs on the Tacoma campus, and in Bothell, helped fund a need-based student scholarship for students experiencing mental health & wellness challenges, housing or job insecurity, and counseling services. The COVID-19 Employee Emergency Fund was also a recipient of flexible funds which helped address critical, temporary, and unforeseen financial hardships due to COVID-19.

Our UW family is wonderfully diverse in every way — in our perspectives, identities, passions and ambitions — yet we share the core values that make it possible for us to have impact at an incredible scale. This is what makes Husky Giving Day so powerful. Each of us gives individually, but it is by combining our giving power that we convert our passion into purpose. As a Husky and a member of the UW community, I hope you will join me in celebrating Husky Giving Day. When doing so, you can be secure in the knowledge that you are maximizing the impact and reach of your giving on behalf of our great public mission.

Thank you for working together with all of us at the UW to build a more equitable, sustainable and promising future for all.