As a William & Mary student who works with Avalon, I love to see W&M student organizations raising money for the Center! W&M students have a long history of giving back to the Williamsburg community, which shines through in the university’s involvement with Avalon.
William & Mary’s Greek community raises thousands of dollars for Avalon every year. Alpha Chi Omega at W&M has designated the Center as their official philanthropy, and holds two events annually to benefit us: AXOktoberfest in the fall, and AXUltimate Frisbee in the spring. Additionally, Alpha Chi runs supply drives at Food Lion to benefit the Center, and raises awareness of domestic and sexual violence during their Healthy Relationships Week. Alphi Chi does incredible work both for the Center, and through promoting healthy relationships on W&M’s campus. Additionally, William & Mary’s chapter of Delta Phi raises money for Avalon every spring through their event Delta Phi Croquet.
One of William & Mary’s most well-known philanthropies, Kappa Delta’s Campus Golf, raises thousands of dollars for Avalon every spring. Students at the College look forward to campus golf all year, and take their teams, themes, and costumes very seriously. Campus Golf brings the entire campus community together to benefit Avalon!
Non-Greek organizations raise money for Avalon, too -- the improv troupe I.T. performs an annual improvathon to benefit Avalon. Members of I.T. perform improvisational theater for 24 straight hours every spring, and donate the proceeds to us! Next week, on Thursday, September 22nd, the William & Mary Hockey Club is conducting a profit share for Avalon at Blaze Pizza. Blaze will donate a portion of their profits from the night directly to the Center.
The Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary also teamed up with Avalon. With the support of the faculty, and led by Richard M. Smyth, MBA 2016, students at the Mason School of Business have volunteered their time, talent and expertise to empower women by providing them with a unique support network. “I believe in Avalon and your mission and I think that, more than simply saying, everyone at Avalon is empowering women. What began as a coffee conversation has blossomed into an ongoing outreach effort to help women in their transition to independence, while raising the awareness of Avalon and the comprehensive services that this non-profit organization provides to the greater Williamsburg region,” said Smyth.
To help the women who have found refuge at the shelter, the students offer personal coaching. Topics have focused on building resumes, perfecting job interviewing skills, and even assisting with taxes. In the spring the students at the Mason School of Business conducted a clothing drive at Miller Hall with specific focus on professional business attire for women. Simultaneously, the students organized a fundraiser that was one hundred percent promoted and supported by business graduate students.
Additionally, many students at the college volunteer to help Avalon with child care, art therapy, outreach, staffing our phones, and much more! Avalon is so grateful to its community, including William & Mary, for its continued support of our mission! Our work would not be possible without the community support we receive!