Every year, my family and I stand on the sidelines of the NYC Marathon and cheer on the runners from all over the world who have taken on this enormous challenge. This year, we’ll be cheering for two U.S. Fund for UNICEF staff members who are running in the marathon for Team UNICEF. Jennifer Lee and Taylor Conger are both training right now to finish the 26.2-mile marathon and raise money to help children all around the world. These two dedicated athletes have already reached their initial fundraising goal of $3,500 each, and have now upped their goal to a combined total of $10,000—all of it for UNICEF.
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As the newest members of the UNICEF Campus Initiative National Council, we met from August 24–26 in New York City at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF (USF) for an exhilarating weekend of training and learning. During this training we were introduced to USF staff, leaders and advocates to better understand how, in partnership with USF, we will effectively support over 120 UNICEF clubs and hundreds of student leaders. By exchanging best practices and discussing opportunities for future collaborations, we developed a work plan to further strengthen the Campus Initiative in 2013.
Last month we received the most inspiring letter from an 11 year-old girl called Emma, describing the excitement and joy her and her classmates felt after they had raised $700 for UNICEF. They were not only happy because they had exceeded their initial goal of $100 but they were even more enthusiastic that what originally started out as a 5th grade-math class assignment turned out into a UNICEF fundraiser!
While we value and appreciate all of our interns, yesterday was Laura Restrepo’s last day as a Fellow with the Volunteer and Community Partnerships Department.
The vision of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Campus Initiative is to build life-long advocates of child survival who will work toward zero by educating, advocating, and fundraising for UNICEF programs. Campus Initiative National Council members embody our mission and work beyond state limits and school rivalries.
I am pleased to announce that Kelli Beyer from Loyola University Chicago, Ariana Hoet from The Ohio State University, Daniel Mettman from Wichita State University, Shristi Pandey from Brown University, Shikhank Sharma from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Stephanie Sun from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the 2010-2011 Campus Initiative National Council.
The new council of student leaders will meet in New York City in August to create a year-long plan of action to develop the Campus Initiative’s resources and infrastructure, provide strategic direction for the program, and foster greater communication between the clubs.
On behalf of the whole team, I share our sincere thanks to the 2009-2010 council: Marta Ewa Baran from Mercyhurst College; Ariana Hoet from The Ohio State University; Andrea Morales from Loras College, Orlane Monga from Green Mountain College; and Miko Tsubai from the University of Houston, for their outstanding work during this academic year. Well done!