Staying true to the words of their alma mater’s fight song, two University of Colorado Boulder alumni and one senior are banding together to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with students reeling from the effects of COVID-19.
Alumni Serene Singh and Kelly Galloway, along with current CU Boulder senior Paula Pulido, launched the Buffs Together fundraising campaign Tuesday, aiming over the next 30 days to reach $50,000 in donations that can be disbursed to students in need of financial support.
“Being an alumnus, I’m in contact with people who are at CU, friends of mine, people who I worked with, and I was noticing that there was a lot of panic, a lot of stress,” said Singh, a Rhodes Scholar who graduated CU in May 2019.
“Seeing all the heartbreak going on in the world, we all want to do something in our power,” said Galloway, who also graduated in May 2019 and currently lives in Los Angeles where she works for a public relations firm. “We knew we couldn’t change what was happening, but we could help with our given power which is the networks we have, the marketing skills we have.”
Since late March, the three have spent hours per day working on the campaign, from graphic design to working out a partnership with CU Boulder. With the campaign now live, they’ve turned their attention to raising awareness for donations, specifically amongst other alumni.
“We want to have the message of ‘you’re a forever Buff,'” Galloway said. “We should look back to the time when we were (CU students) and be so grateful for all the opportunities and really do what we can to help those students who need us more than ever. This is the time to really help.”
“Seeing all the heartbreak going on in the world, we all want to do something in our power.”
Kelly Galloway, CU Boulder alumnus
The campaign has currently raised over $2,000 between 22 different donors. If they’re able to pass their $50,000 goal before the 30 days are up, the three will consider continuing the fundraiser.
This week CU Boulder announced its own crowdfunding initiative of the same name, pledging to match donations up to $1.6 million for students, faculty and staff. Singh, Galloway and Pulido have said their fundraiser is strictly student-focused.
“We pride ourselves as Buffs on being so diverse,” Singh said. “We have a lot of diversity in terms of experiences, where we come from, how we get to CU Boulder … and right now it’s something we should take into account during a situation like (COVID-19) because it means many people are affected differently.”
For some students it’s needing money for food—for others, it’s finding an alternative to a home threatened by domestic abuse.
“I don’t want people to feel like their alone,” said Pulido, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in finance. “We hope that we’ve created a way to connect those people.”
The three are working with the CU Boulder’s Division of Student Affairs to help eligible students apply for the funds. Though administrators will play a role in where the money goes, Singh, Galloway and Pulido said they will also be hands-on during the process.
They also said they will look to implement a semi-rolling basis when it comes to allocating money to students, adding that based on the urgency of a student’s needs they may receive the money even before the 30-day deadline.
“We want to make sure that students are safe, healthy and secure,” Singh said.
Contact CU Independent Editor-in-Chief Robert Tann at firstname.lastname@example.org.