Big Give Day’s impact has lasting effects on PCC students
Photos and Story by Celina Baguiao
Anya DeCarlo was making the most of her time at Portland Community College. As a 24-year-old biology major with a minor in math, she started a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Club at the Cascade Campus, earned a prestigious Oregon NASA Space grant, and then found a love for research. All of this while going to school full-time and working a part-time job.
Then, like with so many other things, the pandemic hit and derailed her journey. As a result, DeCarlo lost her work-study job, which coincided with her rental lease ending. So she needed to find a new place to live and find employment.
“Without a job and the state shut down, I didn’t know how I was going to be able to afford to move,” DeCarlo said.
‘Big Give Day’ is Oct. 5-6
The PCC Foundation is hosting the third annual day of giving “Big Give Day.” This event allows alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the college to support a variety of programs and scholarships.
This year’s goal is to raise $100,000. “Big Give Day” goes live at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 5 and runs through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6.
DeCarlo was going to drop out of school, but she turned to the PCC Foundation for financial help and received an emergency grant. It is support like this that is made possible by donors, especially during key events like the upcoming “Big Give Day.” Because of these fund-raising activities, the Foundation was able to help her when she needed it most.
From noon on Oct. 5 to midnight, Oct. 6, the PCC Foundation will host its third annual “Big Give Day” to raise $100,000 to support scholarships, emergency aid and college programs to help students like DeCarlo.
“When the pandemic continued to be a long-term event, I didn’t have a job,” DeCarlo explained. “I wasn’t able to get employment. I needed money for basic needs. Having your basic needs met allowed me to spend my time and energy on things that mattered to me in the future, like school.”
This year, more than 25 PCC scholarships and programs will participate in “Big Give Day,” which uses networking and crowdfunding to raise money. In addition, the Schlesinger Family Foundation will match the first $21,000 in donations, and the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund will give the equivalent of the first 60 supporters who contribute $500 or more, making contributions even more impactful.
“The Foundation is so grateful to the Schlesinger Family Foundation and the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund for matching donations,” said PCC Foundation Interim Executive Director Christina Kline. “These two organizations believe in our mission and our students, and I’m grateful for their partnership during this time of giving.”
In 2020 and during a pandemic, 700 people raised more than $175,000 for student success during “Big Give Day.” The funds were used for equipment, emergency grants, support services and scholarships.
DeCarlo benefitted from the Foundation’s emergency grant and was able to complete her classes and transfer to Portland State University. She started her classes there this fall.
“I feel like I lucked out,” DeCarlo said when talking about her emergency grant. “I used the money to buy groceries and take care of my basic needs. Giving to the PCC Foundation is a generous and kind thing to do. Students, such as myself, are in circumstances outside of their control that don’t have the financial resources to stay focused on school. Donors’ money can make a huge difference in students’ lives.”
Have questions about “Big Give Day”? Call the PCC Foundation at 971-722-4382, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.