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The Blue & Gray Press | November 20, 2017

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Many Thanks, UMW!

MAGGIE O’TOOLE

If you were at UMW last year, you know who we are.
You probably donated or walked at our  Walkathon, and you may have secretly grumbled about us.
For the freshmen who haven’t had the pleasure yet, we are Students Helping Honduras. For the last two years we have held walkathons to benefit an orphanage and a village in El Progreso, Honduras, and last year we added a very aggressive Internet voting campaign called GrabLife GiveLife. The student body was deluged daily by pleas to donate and reminders to vote for our group on the GrabLife site.
It worked–we won $20,000 from Dodge Motors, and our second Walkathon, which had the lofty goal of $100,000 to build houses for the 72 families in the village of Siete de Abril, was a huge success. Thanks to Doris Buffett of the Sunshine Lady Foundation, our friends at other colleges, and, especially, ALL OF YOU, we raised $290,000.
We know to whom we owe our thanks, and we also know we overloaded the student body last semester. You came through for us in a big way, and now we can make the dreams of several hundred people come true, because Mary Wash stuck with us despite the seemingly endless requests.
So, in the spirit of thanks and community, last Thursday we threw a no-strings-attached soccer tournament for everyone. No donations, no voting, no guilt, just soccer and burgers. For good measure, we threw in some gift cards for the winners and raffled off a Wii. Sixteen teams came out and a good time was had by all. If you missed it, stay tuned for more.
This is our new tone for the year. Our activities are more bite-sized and we’re trying to give back as much fun and energy as the student body puts into us. We’ll need you all for Grablife again in a few weeks, but what we did once, we can do again; there is nothing like a campus united.

THANK YOU, MARY WASHINGTON. You are amazing.

Maggie O’Toole is a senior and Vice President of Students Helping Honduras