Give-N-Day Impact

Every year, Give-N-Day impacts students’ lives beyond the giant money items displayed on social media.

That might be cookies to put students and counselors together in a less intimidating setting. Maybe it is sheet folders to help take one anxiety away from the upcoming performance. It could be the library providing required course textbooks to save students an expense. Or perhaps it is uniforms to show off Nicholls pride during cycling events.

“Department budgets are not where we’d like them to be,” choir director Dr. John St. Marie says. “And we’re just so appreciative we had people donate to help give our students a small boost, so that we can give them the best education that we can.”

While it sounds small, the folders were $22 a piece and over 50 students, that cost adds up to more than $1,000. And they were replacing old, waterlogged and moldy folders.

“They just swell with pride,” Dr. St. Marie says. “They are no longer embarrassed to have those old folders in front of other choirs or audiences. This small difference is huge.”

Thanks to Give-N-Day over the last few years, the library has been able to provide textbooks on reserve for the courses with the highest enrollment to help students who choose not to or are unable to purchase textbooks. The library has also purchased larger monitors for study rooms to help students displaying presentations and other study materials, as well as noise-canceling headphones.

“The library has the opportunity to impact every student on campus now and into the future,” says Brandy Burbante, cataloging librarian at Ellender Memorial Library.

Over the years, the counseling center has been able to use the money to improve the waiting room and support programs like “Lets Talk” and “Cookies with Counselors.” The top three issues the center receives are stress, anxiety and depression. All conditions that give people built in excuses to not seek help.

“Having alumni and people in the community supporting what we do helps us exist as a club” – Dr. Scott Banville

Student wears new headsets in the Ellender Library which were purchased with funds from Give-N-Day.
The Nicholls Cycling team uses funds for uniforms and equipment.
Student using new folders that the choir purchased from Give-N-Day money.

So it is important to make sure there are no additional barriers, like flimsy room dividers. And the programs like Cookies with Counselors help the staff meet students in a setting that can end the perception you are going to be lying on a sofa being analyzed.

“Counseling is about prioritizing you,” says counselor Krystyn Dupree. “Counseling can be about building your self-esteem, establishing independence from family, finding support in changing your major or failing a class, handling depression or anxiety, learning how to cope with a sudden unexpected life change. Counseling is what you make it, because you make it
about you.”

In non-COVID-19 times, the cycling club provides Nicholls students the opportunity to network with faculty and alumni including doctors, lawyers and people in the oil industry. That’s when the club meets locally for rides around the Bayou Region.

But it’s also a club sport that competes with other colleges and has topped LSU. What Give-N-Day has meant to the program over the years are registration fees to help students compete, maintenance for the bicycles and even $200 Nicholls uniforms.

“Having alumni and people in the community supporting what we do helps us exist as a club, and it also helps us get the word out about the program,” says Dr. Scott Banville. “This is a club that provides a way to work out besides going to the gym. I love the gym, but the exercise bike can get stale. When you are out riding on the bayou roads, it is nice to hear how much the students enjoy it. You can hear them pointing out the different birds and even the snakes.”

Whatever the price tag of an item, Give-N-Day gives donors the opportunity to support Nicholls students in a personalized way for the donor. Donors are able to see what their dollars will be used for and the impact.

– Cain Madden