Posts filed under 'Community Service'



2013 Buckeyethon Raises Over $600K For Nationwide Children’s Hospital

This past weekend myself and thirteen other Fisher MHRM students dedicated twelve hours of our lives to the children of Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s hematology and oncology departments during Ohio State’s annual Buckeyethon. The dance marathon took place from 8pm last Friday to 11pm Saturday with dancers choosing one of two twelve hour shifts. I chose to dance the overnight 8pm-8am shift.

As an undergraduate I participated in UCLA’s Dance Marathon so when the opportunity to participate in Ohio State’s version presented itself, I jumped at the chance. As a Buckeyethon dancer we individually pledged to raise a minimum of $100 “for the kids” at Children’s Hospital. As a whole, our MHRM group raised $4,555.13! On the day of we rounded up as much purple gear as we could and went to the Ohio Union to join our fellow purple team dancers along with all of the other students participating in this year’s event. Hundreds of students packed the union for opening ceremonies as we welcomed some of the children from Nationwide along with their families. Speakers reminded us why we were dancing, and we recognized those that were dancing specifically for friends or family members. It was then off to the ballroom to get our twelve hours of dancing started. During our twelve hours we danced, played games, met some amazing kids, made cards, colored pictures, ate, talked, and laughed.

Spending Time With The Kids

If you have never participated in a dance marathon, it is truly an amazing experience. When you are tired, your feet hurt, your back is sore, and you just want to sit down- those are the times when you remember the kids you are dancing for and the pain that they have to go through on a sometimes daily basis as they battle all different types of cancer. Those thoughts give you strength to jump up and down, keep your blood pumping through your body, and fight through the little bit of pain. Our pain is temporary, and the same may not be able to be said for some of the kids at Nationwide (and across the country fighting similar illness).

In the end, Buckeyethon 2013 raised $608,623.29! The event was absolutely incredible, and it is my hope that next year we can get even more Fisher graduate students involved.

Buckeyethon 2013 raised $608,623.29! Photo via Buckeyethon Facebook Page.


With winter comes tax season!

The winter months at the Fisher College of Business bring the 2012 tax filing season and volunteer opportunities with VITA! The VITA program (volunteer income tax associate) is a chapter of the IRS’ community service initiatives that provides free tax preparation services to low income neighborhoods in the Columbus area. Fisher accounting undergraduate students and MAcc students have the opportunity to volunteer their services to assist the program from late January to early March. Fisher provides two site locations to individuals seeking free tax services. It is a great way to give back to the community, while also learning more about the tax system. The program was founded in 2003 by the MAcc program’s very own, Professor Raabe, and has provided over $4 million in tax refunds and services valued $1.2 million since the formation.

In order to participate in the VITA program, students must go through basic and intermediate training through the IRS. Training consists of realistic tax scenarios and applying the IRS tax code. Then, tax software training is required using “tax wise” systems. Simulations were created for software training to allow students to file a “fake” return using typical tax information a client may provide. The training provides an excellent opportunity to understand the structure of the tax code, learn the basics of individual tax returns, and ultimately take this knowledge with us to our career.

This past Friday marked the opening session of VITA and I had the opportunity of participating. For some, if not most, of our clients, this will provide the biggest pay day of the year. It was amazing to instill such extreme happiness in the VITA clients upon hearing the news of their tax refunds and I cannot wait to continue this throughout the rest of my time with VITA this season. Check out this video to learn more about VITA.


As Tax Season Begins, MAcc Students Serve

It’s finally here!  VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – has begun!

Each winter for six weeks, Fisher MAcc and select undergraduate students volunteer at Godman Guild and the OSU Law Extension Center in Columbus to provide tax preparation assistance to low-income individuals and families.  After weeks of organizing training and compiling schedules (with much help from other volunteers), we kicked off our first volunteer session on Friday at Godman Guild.

A great group of volunteers for our first week of VITA!

We had several individuals come in and were able to prepare their federal tax returns to be submitted at the end of the month.  These Columbus residents are able to obtain refunds through several different credits including the child tax credit and earned income credit.  What is more important than learning how to complete the tax returns is the time we spend hearing the stories of these people who are really our neighbors.  For many of the people we help, their tax refund will be the largest sum of money received in the year and will help them make it through the winter.  We had a few familiar faces as well – people have been coming to Godman Guild for our assistance since the program began ten years ago.

I’m excited to see how the rest of the tax season goes as we continue to complete returns at Godman Guild and the Law Extension Center.  I’ll be sure to give an update at the end of the season to share how many individuals we were able to help in these six weeks of service!


Winter Break Festivities

Hi readers!

I can’t believe the second session of Fall semester is already over! It is hard to believe I am already halfway finished with the MAcc program either … with classes ending, that of course means finals are among us. This time around, I was done with finals week on Tuesday and am now free for winter break activities! On Friday, I plan on heading to Deep Creek Lake, which is halfway between Columbus and my hometown of Mt. Airy, MD. I have been going to cabins at Deep Creek for years during the summer months for fun weekends of boating, tubing, and relaxing with friends and family. During the winter, the nearby Ski resort, WISP, is open for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, you name it. This coming weekend is the opening day for WISP’s winter season and I am hoping to get out there for skiing and ice skating! There are also tons of hiking trails along the lake and mountains of western Maryland to add to the winter activities list. After a long day of outdoor adventures, it will be great to come back to the cabin and relax in the hot tub! (Check out the pics below for some nice scenic views of Deep Creek.)

After a few days in Deep Creek, I will head back to my parents’ house for about 10 days to visit with family and friends for the holidays. I know one thing for certain…I will be getting my fair share of delicious seafood while I am back on the East Coast. (Sometimes good seafood is hard to come by in the Buckeye State :-)) Then before I know it, it will be back to Columbus to get ready for new years celebrations and the start of spring semester. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which I mentioned a few weeks ago, will also be getting started in January with several training sessions to prepare the MAcc students for this important service project. It is going to be one busy winter! Happy Holidays everyone!

A view of the lake from the ski slope at WISP

 

Ski Slopes at WISP

 

A shot of the cabin I will be staying


Photos from Fisher Follies Auction

Fisher Follies Auction had wonderful donations from our student, faculty & staff! (Click here for more information on Fisher Follies.) Here are some quick facts and photos from the auction:

Number of donations at this year’s auction: 134

Amount of money raised at this year’s auction: $19,708

Julian and Alycia

Two beautiful ladies getting ready for the big event. Thank you, Julian & Alycia!

Most popular items were…. are you ready?

1. A Winter BBQ at “The Sanctuary” for 20 Donated by Professors Larry Inks and Tony Rucci Raised $2,520
2. C-Suite Mentoring Trip to Chicago for 3 Donated by Professor Shashi Matta Raised $2,200

3. Two sets of 2 Fisher Suite football tickets in the Horseshoe (for one conference game and one non-conference game) plus invitations to the official Fisher Tailgate at the Blackwell Hotel. Donated by Dean Christine Poon Raised $1,500

I donated a vintage Japanese wedding kimono.

Follies auction

Wedding kimono

All of us were having so much fun, I don’t think anyone wanted to leave when it was over.

Gift basket

Child’s gift basket

 

Wine basket

Wine basket & Tickets to see Conan

Live auction

Live auction


Need a Study Break? Volunteer!

Feel like you’re swimming in notes, practice problems, and formula sheets?  That’s certainly how I feel when the end of the term rolls around and I start to look over everything we’ve learned over the past seven weeks in the MAcc program.

In all honesty, we’re given plenty of time to study for our finals.  Enough time, in fact, that twenty of us MAccers took a break on Thursday to volunteer at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.  We wrapped up a holiday season canned food drive by packing a total of 647 boxes of food for the CSFP program.  The food bank’s Commodity-Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides a monthly box of nutritious food to low-income seniors.

A great place to do some community service!

After community service, I wrapped up the week with all of my friends at the MAcc Autumn reception.  We enjoyed dinner with Fisher faculty and staff, which was followed by a keynote speech by MAcc alumnus Jeff Howard and the recognition of two autumn graduates of our program.  It was an especially nice way to end the semester and see classmates and faculty before leaving town over break.

My apologies for the short post, but it’s back to studying for me.  After finals, I’ll be traveling to London, Paris, and Nuremberg, Germany, so no worries – there are many exciting posts to come!!


Fisher Serves – Working at the Animal Shelter

Fisher Serves is a student organization at the Fisher College of Business that reaches out to the community by providing service at non-profit organizations. All students from the various programs within the college are able to participate in this organization that gives back to the Columbus, OH community.

For the Fisher Serves day of service, I was asked to help at one of the local animal shelters here in Columbus. I was excited to attend but was given a simple disclosure from my wife that I was not to bring home any animals. Lucky for her, I didn’t.

When the group got to the shelter we were given a list of assignments that needed to be completed. The staff at the shelter was very friendly and made our day of service fun and enjoyable. Here is a brief list of some of the activities that the MBAs were able to help with while volunteering at the animal shelter:

  • Walking Dogs
  • Dog Obedience Training
  • Cleaning Kennels
  • Playing With Kittens
  • Washing Dog Dishes
  • Preparing Dog Treats

The day was full of fun and although it sounds like a lot of fun and easy activities, I was surprised at how tired I was after being on my feet for the whole afternoon.

I am happy to say that all of the MBAs left without an injury or wound. Even more importantly, we all left feeling a sense of gratitude for the opportunities that we have in life to reach out and serve others. I am grateful for the Fisher Serves organization and I truly feel that it helps mold more balanced MBAs during their time at Fisher.


Serving the Community – ‘Fisher Serves’

One of the biggest things that forms an ingrained part of the MBA program here at Fisher is developing a sense of responsibility of giving back to the society. The faculty and the staff make sure they lead by example by continuously involving themselves in events such as Pelotonia, Fisher 5K, and Fisher Follies in an effort to raise money for charitable purposes. Along with the academic excellence, such a commitment forms the core of the values instilled by Fisher to the students.

Inspired, I participated last week in Fisher’s Community Service Day. This is an annual volunteering event organized by FisherServes, a graduate student organization committed to promoting awareness towards civil and social responsibilities. Community Service Day is celebrated to help and support the local Columbus communities by making small contributions in their day to day working and showing our appreciation and patronage to these communities.

Steven Fields @ The Huntington Bank

This year the event was in partnership with The Huntington National Bank. The day started with the keynote speech by Steven Fields, President of  The Huntington Foundation, who emphasized upon the mutual benefits that the community as well as the volunteers reap by participating in such activities. He mentioned that the camaraderie and bonding that such an event establish among individuals in an important take away that corporations have. This year there were six projects on which the students participated:

1. Mid – Ohio Food Bank: Helping by preparing newsletter to help spread a word about the cause.

2. Faith Mission Homeless Shelter: Helping by harvesting and maintaining community garden from where all food harvested goes towards feeding the homeless.

3. Animal Shelter: Helping by taking care of pets, cleaning their shelter, and doing various other associated tasks.

4. YWCA: Helping by organizing donations for building a women’s shelter.

5. Four Seasons City Farm: Helping the community by harvesting plants for the urban garden. Food harvested from the farm went to benefit food banks and/or homeless shelters.

6. Ronald McDonald House: Cleaning the common areas of this organization which provides housing for families that have to temporarily relocate to Columbus so that their children can receive medical care.

The OSU Team

I participated in the Mid-Ohio Food Bank which is a non-profit organization working for more than 32 years towards obtaining food from potential donors and distributing it to the needy individuals and communities. Here I, along with the team of OSU students, helped prepare newsletter which were to be distributed across Columbus to spread the word and awareness about the organization and the cause it works for.

In the words of Steven Fields, these events not only help the communities but also help the individuals and corporations volunteering towards the noble cause. He mentioned about the ‘collective impact’ that a group can have on these communities and that was exactly what we realized working there. Overall the event gave me a productive and purposeful break from the rigor of the MBA.

Looking forward to more of such opportunities!


Just keep running

For any potential MBA students who love running – Columbus, Ohio is the perfect city for you!

Last weekend, I ran alongside 18,000 other individuals for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. I participated in the 1/2 marathon, and have never seen such inspiration. Each mile marker had a “Patient Champion“, and many of the patient heroes were cheering on the runners. Let me tell you, it was a huge burst of speed when I was starting to get tired at mile 9 and I saw their beautiful, smiling faces! Caution: checking out the video and reading about the heroes may cause tears and feelings of pride knowing that Nationwide Children’s impacts so many families!

Here is the “Race Recap” video!

This was my second 1/2 marathon – and while my feet and my body are finally feeling completely normal one week later, I have already signed up for another half-marathon next spring. Numerous people in the program ran, and my Facebook feed was full of great photos this morning. Those who ran the full marathon even ran through the Shoe!

Columbus is city that is constantly giving back, in huge ways! The Columbus Marathon sold out this year, and thousands of people came out to show their support. Other races, such as the Capital City 1/2 Marathon and the Arthritis Foundation 5k Jingle Bell Walk/Run are some of my favorites! Where else can you find such a generous city?

Even if marathons and half-marathons aren’t your cup of tea, there are hundreds of 5ks, 15ks and Walk/Runs every year in Ohio and near Columbus – RunOHIO is a great website to find out the perfect race for you! Running is a wonderful way to relieve the stress of classes –  and when you’ve already registered for a race, a great motivator to take a small break and exercise.

Happy running!


Columbus gives back

Columbus is a unique city full of great restaurants, of course a large academic community, sports teams, you name it. But this city is also full of service and giving back to the community in pretty extreme ways. Today was a special day for service: The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. This event consisted of either a half (13.1 miles) or full marathon (26.2 miles) and included a total of around 18,000 participants! Proceeds for the marathon went directly to the Children’s Hospital mentioned previously and each mile marker of the course shared stories of terminally ill children struggling to fight their disease. There were opportunities to not only run the race, but to volunteer, cheer on the runners, watch, or simply give to the cause. I had several friends run the half and full marathon today and were able to aide the cause. I think I will attempt to train and participate next year!

This the course map for the Columbus Marathon

Another huge, annual event that I was able to participate in this past summer is Pelotonia. In this event, participants bike a designated number of miles with a team or peloton through Columbus and the city outskirts in the fight to end cancer. The bike routes had several mile categories to accommodate all types of riders-I did 25 miles to start out for The Ohio State University team. 100% of all donations and funds raised go to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for cancer research. This event was by far one of the most amazing service events I have ever completed and I hope to be a part of this cause going forward. The event was in August this past year, with donations and fundraising ending this month. The check presentation ceremony in which the final monetary value raised is scheduled for November 5th. Last year they raised around $12 million and I am confident this will be beat this year.  Watch this video to learn more about the cause and join the fight to end cancer. Until next time guys!

 

 


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