Charity Week Tradition Reunites Junior Class
Date Published: September 30, 2016
Next week kicks off the long-held junior class tradition, Charity Week, which lasts
Monday through Saturday, where the UD community will rally together to raise funds
for three nonprofits that fall in line with the university’s Catholic identity — Project Ultrasound, The Chromosome 18: Registry and Research Society and Heifer International. After being split apart for the past year traveling and studying in Rome during
the spring and fall semesters, our junior class is reunited.
Leading this year’s Charity Week are co-chairs Allyson Grubbs, BA ’18, Mary Hinze,
BA ’18, and Lili Serna, BA ’18, who’s also vice president for student government.
The three co-chairs each selected their own charity to include in UD’s Charity Week
and helped determine this year’s theme — “Lions, and Tigers, and Charity, oh my!”
“We thought that would be fun, because ‘The Wizard of Oz’ has so many different elements,”
With a little inspiration from the hit broadway musical “Wicked: The Untold Story
of the Witches of Oz,” and, of course, the 1939 Hollywood classic “The Wizard of Oz,”
the co-chairs unanimously agreed on the Oz-themed Charity Week after gathering feedback
from their class.
Serna, who selected the nonprofit The Chromosome 18, which researches treatments and
interventions of chromosome 18 disorders, lost her brother to Trisomy 18, the most
common of these chromosome 18 abnormalities that typically go undiagnosed during pregnancy.
According to The Chromosome 18, most children with Trisomy 18 die before birth or
shortly thereafter, and only five to 10 percent of babies with this particular chromosomal
abnormality will live past their first birthday.
“This means the world to me. I never got to meet my brother,” said Serna. “It means
another family is going to possibly get a chance to hold their child.”
All three charities have a strong connection to UD’s Catholic ideology and have never
been included in Charity Week.
“I think Charity Week is really important — we do this every year — but the thing
about traditions is they tend to lose their authenticity,” said Grubbs.
By selecting these three new charities — Project Ultrasound, The Chromosome 18 and
Heifer International — these Charity Week organizers hope to re-emphasize UD’s support
of charities that follow the Catholic teachings of the university, while giving students
the opportunity to explore and experience different ways of making a difference.
As for the other two charities, Heifer International aims to end world hunger and
poverty by empowering families, and Project Ultrasound provides crisis pregnancy centers
nationwide with ultrasound machines. “I wanted to include a pro-life charity,” said
Grubbs, who selected Project Ultrasound. “I thought, ‘Why not bring a new message?’”
All the funds raised during Charity Week will be split equally between the three charities
— they expect to raise anywhere between $15,000 and $20,000. Grubbs, Hinze and Serna
noted that Alumni & Family Weekend, which typically falls during Charity Week, will
instead take place Thursday, Oct. 13, through Sunday, Oct. 16, meaning that all donations
will be raised by students and faculty during Charity Week.
To draw students out of their residence halls, there will be plenty of activities
and games — everything from the jail, where you can lock up your friend or favorite
professor, to running in the 5K. While the majority of Charity Week’s traditional
activities and games are coming back, a few will be replaced with an open mic night,
where students or professors can donate to have someone perform live karaoke.
The Mall will be chalked yellow, resembling the yellow brick road in “The Wizard of
Oz,” and the lamp posts around campus will be wrapped in green cellophane to resemble
the Emerald City.
“We’re really excited to give these charities the money they need to be successful,”
Visit UD’s calendar of events for a complete schedule during Charity Week.
Bottom photo (From L to R): Lili Serna, BA ’18, Mary Hinze, BA ’18, and Allyson Grubbs,