A Day of Gratitude and Giving Back: Give Miami Day 


Stephania Lopez

Give Miami Day is the largest day for charity donations in South Florida. The school participated in it’s most successful fundraising campaign ever this year.

A day solely designated to giving for the betterment of the community and Miami as a whole. That’s Give Miami Day. 

This past November and every year prior, the Miami Foundation has held a 24 hour community wide initiative where the Miami community is encouraged to give back to the nonprofits. Their goal, as stated above, is to give the opportunity to provide unity and aid to those in the community in order to grow as a whole. 

Three years ago, the school made the decision to join and ride on the momentum of the community-wide effort. 

“Since November is a month of gratitude and reflecting on the things we’re thankful for, we realize how grateful we are for the opportunity to be able to do what we do with our girls,” Ms. Olga Martinez, Dean of Enrollment and Engagement said. 

With that, the decision was made to ask both in and out of the school community to help champion the mission of the school. Many are moved by this especially due to the fact that people get the opportunity to dive deep personally and contribute to causes that mean something to them. 

With only raising $47,000 last year, this year, over $105,000 was raised, making it the most successful Give Miami Day campaign hosted by the school. In order for this large difference to have occured, the Office of Institutional Advancement took it upon themselves to alter their previous fundraising strategies in order to up their funds. 

“The strategy this year was to try to cultivate and establish a list of donors that we could reach out to prior to the 24 hour donation period,” Martinez said. 

This approach made a large difference in the amount of funds received due to the fact that donors got the opportunity to prepare their amounts beforehand and the team knew how much money was being generated prior to the date. 

Not only did they secure pledges beforehand, but the team also established engaging fundraising campaigns through advertisements on social media. 

For example, with many awaiting for the return of the infamous Lourdes Cookie, Marta Castellanos, Special Events & Alumnae Coordinator, took it as an opportunity to fundraise. With that, $5 dollar wristbands were created and sold in order to purchase a Lourdes Cookie. Advertisements were spread across the school and it proved to be a success as it brought in a good amount of money. 

Not only did it bring in a good amount of money, but it gave the girls a chance to enjoy a missed staple sweet treat of the school. 

“The last time I had the Lourdes Cookie was when I visited the school in eighth grade,” sophomore Ella Garcia said. “So the fact that I got the opportunity to have it again was super exciting.” 

Another campaign that was spread throughout social media was the push for the Broadcast Journalism program from 5 to 7 pm. 

“The reason why we did this was because we had a donor, Pam Giganti, OLLA alumni and anchor for NBC 6, who wanted to mark her funds for this particular program,” Martinez said. 

During this time period to fundraise for this particular program, the goal was set at $25,000. Due to an influx of activity and donations from social media advertisements such as videos posted on instagram with OLLA Alumnis in the news industry, the team decided to extend the time period from ending at 7 P.M. all the way to ending at 8 P.M. 

Once the funds are received, the school divides it into three separate areas: tuition assistance, which is to help parents who may not be able to meet their financial commitment to the school, program enhancements, which are programs that range from STEM to athletics that may need additional resources, and capital improvement, which are improvements made to the physical campus. 

Overall, Give Miami Day has a large impact here and it never fails to benefit all aspects of the school each year. As time goes on, this day will continue to make its mark on the community one year at a time.