GivingTuesday 2020

CA Curious

Make an impact on GivingTuesday

November 12, 2020

GivingTuesday. The global day of giving. After Black Friday purchases and Cyber Monday orders, GivingTuesday provides an opportunity for us to pause, reflect, and give back to those around us. This day has become a day showing strong support for non-profits around the globe, including schools. Here at CA, though, we choose to use this day to look outside our campus, come together, and support our local community. 

Last year, as a community, we provided more than 200 in-kind donations to the Diaper Bank of North Carolina. Our students, teachers, and staff brought in disposable diapers, feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, and adult incontinence items to support the local non-profit. I also sported an inflatable baby costume during Middle School drop-off.  

This year, we are thrilled by the leadership taken on by three of our juniors – Sanjna Jotwani, Folu Ogundipe, and Neha Sharma – to connect with, learn about, and spearhead the efforts to support a local non-profit, Haven House. Cary Academy has partnered with Haven House for various endeavors in the past, but thanks to the passion of our students, we are thrilled to officially partner with them to drive support for local youths on GivingTuesday.  

I have so many incredible things to say about the leadership and passion shown by our students, but instead, I would rather let them tell you, in their own words, why this is important to them and how everyone can be helpful. 

The stars truly aligned when it came to our opportunity to partner with Haven House. Dr. McElreath, CA’s Experiential Learning Director, is friends with a member of Haven House’s team, and they introduced us to one of their new initiatives: The TeensHelpingTeens program. We were immediately interested, as the idea of being able to make an impact as a student had great appeal. As much as we appreciate the support from the adults around us, we loved the idea of being able to drive these efforts on our own – especially for others our age.  

Haven House is a local organization focused on aiding teens and young adults who are experiencing homelessness. Youth homelessness may be caused by a variety of reasons: some are experiencing crisis at home due to abuse, family conflict, poverty, or inequitable access to housing. Some have been in foster care and, for myriad reasons, leave without a stable place to call home. Others are navigating mental health challenges and do not have access to the necessary resources needed to thrive. Whatever their situations, Haven House provides a safehaven for youth—a place where they can find the freedom to realize their full potential 

As the holidays are approaching, it’s not only a time to reflect on the privilege that many of us at Cary Academy have, but it’s also an opportunity for us to use that privilege to help others.  

Haven House fills a crucial need in our community, and we are beyond excited to be able to help them in any way we can. Sanjna, Neha, and I see how truly similar we are to those being helped by Haven House, and how things that are entirely outside of our and their control have led us down such markedly different paths.  

This year, Haven House is not just asking us to donate to those teens and young adults. Instead, they are requesting donations to their TeenStore. At the TeenStore, teens can “shop” and give gifts to their own parents and legal guardians to show how grateful they are for them. It is a beautiful way for us to use our privilege to spread holiday cheer to not only these teens, but their whole families.  

Many of us have never second guessed our ability to show our gratefulness to our families through gifts, yet so many cannot. We do not want to only recognize this; we want to act on it and empower Haven House youth to express their gratitude to those that have supported them.  

To that end, Haven House has put together an Amazon wishlist comprised of small gifts, $10 – $20, that they need to stock their TeenStore. With a few clicks, you could transform the holiday season for another youth. 

Will you join us in sending some joy their way? The Wishlist is open and accepting purchases now. We will continue to promote and support this cause through the week of GivingTuesday. If you’d like to participate with us, you can purchase directly from Amazon, or you can bring your gift to campus on December 1st or 3rd to be delivered to HavenHouse  

We hope that you will consider using Haven House’s Amazon wishlist and sponsoring a gift to ship to them. And we thank you for joining in us in our gratitude this season.

With gratitude,  
Sanjna, Folu, and Neha 

Written by Ali Page, Director of Development


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On GivingTuesday, help make generosity go viral

November 26, 2019

Holidays in the United States center around the values of giving and gratitude. But, these values can often be eclipsed by the lure of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, shifting our focus from the needs of our community to our own personal wants.

Fortunately, seven years ago a group of do-gooders in New York set out on a mission to elevate philanthropy once again. #GivingTuesday is “a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.”

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, Cary Academy is calling on our community to help make generosity go viral across our campus. We are partnering with the Diaper Bank of North Carolina, a nonprofit committed to ensuring every family in North Carolina has access to basic necessities to support their dignity, health, and quality of life.

This is not the first time we’ve worked with this vital agency – during Hurricane Florence relief efforts in 2018, many CA families contributed diapers, adult incontinence items, baby wipes, and more to reduce the burden on families whose lives had been upended by the natural disaster. In fact, both Middle and Upper School students have dedicated their time to supporting the Diaper Bank’s efforts, from sorting at the warehouse to spreading awareness about the nonprofit’s mission and vision.

The need for these supplies is still as urgent today. In particular, the Diaper Bank of NC requests disposable diapers in sizes 4 and 5; adult incontinence items; feminine hygiene products (tampons, sanitary napkins); and baby wipes. Good news: even if your package of diapers/products is open, the Diaper Bank of NC can still accept and distribute the items! 

Why is Cary Academy choosing to spotlight another nonprofit organization on GivingTuesday rather than ask for gifts to support financial aid, enhanced learning experiences, and other mission-aligned activities? 

Because that’s why GivingTuesday is all about. This is an opportunity for students, families, employees, and supporters to engage in community-centric philanthropy. This is a time where we can put into action the lessons of our Center for Community Engagement: how can we take actions of all sizes to build more equitable, resilient communities? It starts by taking care of people in the ways most needed. So, we’re seeking to be responsive to the Diaper Bank of NC and asking you to be a part of this one-day blitz of giving. 

How can you participate? On Tuesday, December 3, bring your donations to campus between 7:00am – 5:00pm. Drop-off bins will be available outside the Middle School, Upper School, and Administration Building. You can bring items to the Development wing at any point. 

Items Needed: 

  • Disposable diapers (sizes 4 and 5 in greatest need) 
  • Adult incontinence items 
  • Feminine hygiene supplies (tampons, sanitary napkins) 
  • Baby wipes 

Here’s the bonus: Members of the Cary Academy community have each committed to donating $1 to the CA Fund for each Diaper Bank donation made in recognition of philanthropy! Not only will our GivingTuesday efforts extend to families across the great state of North Carolina, but your support will also generate resources that are invested in our service learning and work experience programs, which will keep our students engaged in relevant, urgent issues. 

The founders of #GivingTuesday believed that the social sector had the capacity to show more innovative leadership, creativity, and collaboration.” Cary Academy is a prime example of what can happen when these three intangibles come together for the greater good. This December 3, let’s recommit to these values in the spirit of creating change for the greater good. 


Written by Katie Todd, CA Fund Director

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