10 Tips for a Successful Freshmen Year

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  1. Get involved- Finding your niche on campus is crucial to your experience, joining an organization (like miracle!!) surrounds you with people who have a common interest to you. It is a source of immediate friendships and a sense of belonging.

  2. Make new friends- Do not limit yourself to just your friends on your team, sorority, or dorm hall. Talk to the person beside you in every class, and you never know what kind of friendship will come out of it! Everyone is new to freshmen year, just like you, so do not be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone by meeting new people.

  3. Go to office hours- Teachers LOVE when students make the effort to come to their office. They take time out of their busy weeks, even though students rarely show up. They are so willing to help, and will definitely remember that you made the extra effort.

  4. Do not be afraid to eat alone in a dining hall- Everyone has to do it, so you just have to get over your fears of being alone. Sit with a stranger! Make a friend. Study. Read a book. Not only is this SO normal, but you may even enjoy your time and space alone!

  5. Remember to call your parents- They are just as scared as you! You do not know how much a quick phone call in between classes means to them. They need an update on your life every once and awhile. 

  6. Walk to class- The buses at UGA are so great, but walking to all of your classes will help you avoid the frightening freshman fifteen. Also, why not enjoy our beautiful campus?

  7. Study ahead of time- I'm going to tell you right now, all-nighters don't work. Preparing a couple days or weeks beforehand will greatly increase your grade and keep you sane. 

  8. READ- If your teachers assign readings, they mean it! It can be tedious, but it will turn what would have been a B into an A.

  9. Go to as many events as possible- Being a broke college student you have to monopolize on one thing: FREE FOOD!! Besides that benefit, you will love all of the people you will meet and experiences that come with it. Speaking of...New Kids on the Block is WEDNESDAY, August 15th!! Free food, puppies AND you get to meet and hang out with other freshmen. Good time guaranteed!

  10. Give back- Joining a philanthropic organization on campus will allow you to give your college career meaning and give back to something greater than yourself. Find a cause that you are passionate about, and spend your college days making a difference. For more information about what UGA Miracle does and how we give back to our hospital and community, check out ugamiracle.com. 

10 Ideas to Dominate Summer Fundraising

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Summertime: School's out, the sun is shining and students everywhere are enjoying mom's home-cooked (free!) meals once again. It can be easy to forget about the incredible organization called UGA® Miracle you were obsessed with only 4-months-ago. However, the summer is a great time to get a jump on fundraising and spreading the word that you are a part of Miracle. 

Here are 10 easy ways to keep your summer #ftk. 

  1. Find your whyBefore you do anything, take a minute to reflect. Ask yourself why you are in miracle, What this cause mean to you, and why do you want to bust your butt to raise money for kids you have never even met. Everyone's’ why is different. Your why will drive you through those difficult fundraising dry spells, fill you with passion and energy, and be your motivation to fundraise harder than ever before.
  2. Personalize your donor drive - Change the default photo to a fun, miracle-related photo of you, write your miracle story: how you got involved, your experience with dance marathon, and what the organization means to you. It is okay and, honestly, encouraged to be mushy here. This is where you convince people to fall in love with the organization you love so much, and then choose to support it.
  3. Social Media Posts - Facebook is a great first post, because of all the moms, extended family, aunts and uncles who are not really aunts and uncles- you can reach a myriad of humans who LOVE seeing your life updates.Get mushy, but do not make your post a 5 paragraph essay. Keep it short and sweet while conveying just how much this organization means to you (enough to start fundraising eight months early!). Re-post updates from Children’s and from UGA® Miracle to keep your followers updated on what is going on this summer. This will also remind your followers this organization is worth donating to, even when it isn’t the school year.
  4. E-mail, E-mail, E-mail - This tactic can be super effective! Send it to aunts and uncles, grandparents, aunts and uncles, family friends, older cousins, professors, people who have always donated in the past, etc. This is where you can get personal and write more than you would in a Facebook post. Write about last year’s dance marathon, your goal for this year for fundraising, and your WHY. Make sure to have the link to your donor drive with some instructions (because grandparents can get confused). Be sure to send individual emails and personalize them to the recipient. You want your donors to know that you don’t just see them as a $$ check $$, and that you are reaching out to them because they are important to you.
  5. Letter Writing - Now this might seems super tedious, but it truly shows your motivation. Write a letter thanking past donors past donors for their donations last year. Explain to them where their money went last year, tell them how much we raised in total, include pictures of you at Dance Marathon and pictures of the miracle kids. Explain your new and improved goal for this year and your why, and give the link to your donor drive, or tell them where they can send a check.
  6. Garage Sale - This is one of the easiest ways to make money. Go through your closet or room to find things you no longer want (we all have so much stuff we could sell). You could either sell them to a store that buys them from you and donate the money to your donor drive, or you could have a little sale at your house! Advertise that the money is going towards a good cause. This is an easy way to get through your summer de-junk, and get some money in your donor drive!
  7. Canning - Take a little time out of your day and hit the streets (or the cubicles) to ask for some cash #ftk. Or, set up a can at your place of employment and see if anyone feels inclined to donate.
  8. Dress-Down Fridays - Ask your boss if your fellow employees can buy a dress-down pass for $5, and have that money go towards your donor drive. Advertise the purpose behind the dress down pass and hey, everyone loves wearing jeans to work! Double bonus!
  9. Percentage Night - Work with a local restaurant or store to setup a percentage night for your local neighborhood. Ask them to donate 10% of their profits from one night towards your donor drive and in exchange, get all your friends and family to attend and get them some business!
  10. Yard Work - It’s summer, it’s hot. The last thing anyone wants to do is work on keeping their lawn pristine. Volunteer to mow your neighbor’s lawns or plant their flowers in exchange for a donation to your donor drive! You’ll be surprised how many donations you can get from just small acts of service like these.

With these tips, your donor drive will be off that $0 well before we all get back to Athens. Happy Summer Fundraising and we can’t wait to see everyone back in August! 

Making Miracles with Marjory Stoneman Douglas Dance Marathon

 Photo taken from Dance Marathon at MSD Facebook page.

Photo taken from Dance Marathon at MSD Facebook page.

Dance Marathon has always been about making a difference. Making a difference in a community, making a difference in the lives of a family, making a difference in the life of a child. This past weekend, the children’s miracle network hospital nation watched as Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school banded together an entire community to make an incredible difference in the lives of thousands.
 
On Saturday, April 21, 2018, hundreds of students, alumni and faculty at MSD stood in honor of the kids who can’t. This inaugural event was a long time coming. Originally planned for February 21, 2018, the students had to postpone the event in the aftermath of the tragic shooting that occurred on February 14, 2018. That tragic day took the lives of 17 of their classmates and instilled within the survivors an incredible desire to make a difference in their community, nation and world. On Saturday, these incredible students did indeed make a difference. They surpassed their original goal of $12,000 by over $54,000 and at the end of their 5-hour dance marathon, these students and their community had raised over $66,000 for children being treated at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami.
 
We at UGA Miracle are so incredibly inspired and proud of the students at MSD for their commitment, heart and passion for this cause. It was a truly amazing experience to watch the entirety of the CMNH band together to support MSD in its inaugural dance marathon. We are so happy to have been able to support them by sending sellable UGA Miracle merchandise as well as sending encouraging words and support. It was an honor to stand behind them and watch them achieve miracles. We cannot express how much this mini-marathon means to us and our CMNH community.
 
The students of MSD stood for so much more than just the kids. They stood for their 17 classmates who will never stand again, and for the hope that never again will any child have to fight for their life. This is why we have mini-marathons, this is why we spend countless hours fundraising and connecting with our miracle families. We do it to make a difference. We do it to change lives.

From UGA Miracle to MSD Dance Marathon, congratulations on an incredible and inspiring inaugural dance marathon. Your resilience, strength and passion motivate us to courageously pursue impossible goals, continually push past inconceivable obstacles and be confident in our ability to make an incredible difference. Thank you for the inspiration and thank you for making miracles.