From pandemic-related shutdowns to a historic winter storm, the past year and a half hasn’t been easy. Millions of Americans lost their jobs and experienced food insecurity, while heavy snow and electricity loss led to billions of dollars in damages to homes, pipes and possessions.
But in dark times of greatest need, Americans’ generosity shines brightest. In a year when many were forced to cut back on expenses, U.S. citizens opened their wallets with renewed conviction to help others. In 2020, charitable giving rose to the new height of $471 billion, a 5.1% increase from 2019, according to Giving USA’s report. The Association of Fundraising Professionals saw an 18.5% increase in new donors, and in one day alone, Americans donated $2.47 billion for Giving Tuesday, a 25% increase from 2019’s event.
It’s no surprise that Aggies were among the givers. Texas A&M University has always upheld selfless service and the importance of giving back, and these values were on full display during the past year. Read on to learn some of the ways Aggies stood together to make a difference.
The 12th Can
When Texas A&M students, faculty and staff experienced higher rates of food insecurity during pandemic shutdowns, the student-run campus food pantry, the 12th Can, lived up to its namesake by being ready to help. But in the face of increased demand, it needed additional assistance. In response, Aggies stepped up and donated 3,524 pounds of food during a 15-day drive last April.
Since then, generosity has continued to pour in. In a little less than 14 months, Aggies gave $43,900 to the food pantry, more than a 1,200% increase from 2018 and 2019 donations combined. Thanks to this support, the 12th Can served 1,724 clients in 2020.
“We are immensely grateful for the countless Aggies who have donated funds and non-perishable goods,” said Julianna Cruz ’22, executive director of the 12th Can. “We could not have continued our operations throughout this past year without our community’s consistent and unwavering support.”
Want to help the 12th Can combat food insecurity? Give to the pantry using the button below.