Virginia Tech’s motto, Ut Prosim - “That I may serve” - is a very powerful statement and one that many students are drawn to while choosing a college to attend. Not only is our motto based upon serving others, it is actually enacted through the many philanthropic events that students at Virginia Tech host throughout the years. CWIB is extremely committed to upholding Virginia Tech’s motto and following through with it on a daily basis by giving back to the community around us.
This year, our philanthropy has gone in a different direction, thanks to the guidance of our Philanthropy Chair, Emma Sedlack. Our philanthropy is One Girl, and our organization is dedicated to this cause, however this year we have become much more involved in our community outreach in Blacksburg and the surrounding area.
I’ve reached out to Emma Sedlack to discuss how our philanthropy has evolved this year and what she envisions the future of our philanthropy to look like.
How did you become involved with our philanthropy and what drew you to the position of VP of Philanthropy?
“I have always had a passion for community work. In high school, I had the urge to get involved and give back. Throughout high school (sophomore-senior year) I organized a sock drive from October to December called Socks for Seniors. I collected new warm, fuzzy, festive socks to deliver to the eldery at Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities. After wrapping the socks in bows, I organized a group of volunteers to come with me and sing holiday carols to the residents to brighten their day. Seeing something as small as a pair of fuzzy socks make such a difference really made me realize how important it is to be involved and give back. This stopped once I came to Tech, but I still wanted to be involved, and thought VP of Philanthropy was a great way to give back to the community.”
How would you describe CWIB’s philanthropy?
“I wouldn’t put a definition to CWIB’s philanthropy, because we can do whatever we want to give back and support who we choose!”
Why did you decide to change the direction of our philanthropy?
“In past years, “One Girl” was deemed our philanthropy, and no one knew about it, or was involved whatsoever. Money was raised through Instagram stories which so many people would just click through. Coming into this year as VP of Philanthropy, I had free range to morph CWIB’s philanthropy into whatever I thought was best. I wanted to move away from One Girl, and change it up a bit. I really wanted to focus on getting CWIB involved with the community and Virginia Tech itself. I think it is so important to give back to what is around us, and make philanthropy a tangible thing so members can see the difference they are making. A goal I had for this year was to partner and really just build ties with other on campus organizations and their philanthropies as well as community organizations so CWIB could grow.”
What events do we hold to support our Blacksburg community?
“This year I implemented a fundraiser / food collection for Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry during the fall to help those in need. CWIB donated proceeds of over $100.00 and 4 big bags of canned/dry goods to the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry. This spring I was super excited for CWIB to be part of the Big Event, we registered as a team and had many members sign up, but sadly that was cancelled.”
Why is it important for us to give back to our Blacksburg community?
“Blacksburg is our home. Although it may be our second one, it is no less prevalent. We spend a majority of our college career pouring our heart and soul into Blacksburg in so many ways, but I don't think we realize how lucky we are to have such a community and family. Without Blacksburg, Tech is nothing, and vice versa. It has given us amazing experiences, and I think it is important to be in the know about our surrounding area and give back in any way we can.”
Lastly, how can someone in CWIB become more involved with our philanthropy?
“If you have any ideas or passions that would allow CWIB members to be involved, please reach out to our incoming Philanthropy VP Sraavani Jayanti @ firstname.lastname@example.org, or me, Emma Sedlack @ email@example.com."
Clearly, due to Emma’s passion for helping others and giving back to those around her, she was naturally drawn to VP of Philanthropy. I want to give a huge shoutout to Emma for all of the hard work that she has put in over the past year and continues to do in her everyday life.
After talking to Emma about our philanthropy, and the importance in giving back to our community it is extremely clear that uplifting those around you is a crucial aspect of being a Hokie. During this time, while we may not be at Virginia Tech, being a Hokie doesn’t stop. Now more than ever is a time where we can give back to a cause greater than ourselves. I urge everyone to take the time to thank those who are risking their lives taking care of people affected by the Coronavirus. To the nurses, doctors, teachers, truck drivers, scientists, grocery store workers and so many others, thank you. Please continue the Hokie tradition of helping others and I can’t wait to see how this translates to how CWIB can further help our community. This excites me to see all of you back in Blacksburg in the fall!
By: Paige Horn