Earlier this month, many organizations around the world benefited from #GivingTuesday.

As our Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce noted: “people around the world are coming together: showing kindness and generosity by giving their voices, time, money, goods and more to support communities and causes.”

For N.C. Wesleyan, it’s more than just a Tuesday in early December — we see our community’s kindness and generosity year-round. For the most part, 2020 has been a roller coaster ride and in most cases, less than ideal. However, that hasn’t stopped many in our area and beyond from lending their time, money, goods and words of encouragement to Wesleyan.

Many donated to our fall giving campaign, The Wesleyan Promise, back in October. Rather than having our students remember 2020 as the year they dealt with a pandemic, instead they witnessed the generosity of a community supporting their educational dreams.

In addition, we were fortunate to receive scholarship funds from the Rotary Club’s annual Tackle the Tar event. Even though COVID prevented an in-person event, the community still gave for this important cause.

With all of the curveballs that 2020 has thrown at us, it’s also provided us with great surprises. A neighbor of the college donated a gazebo to provide an outdoor gathering spot for students. Earlier in the year, a donor fully funded the construction of our new Indoor Sports & Education Facility. We were also the recipient of a donation to allow all future Bishop football games to be played on campus.

To help ensure a safe campus environment, we received funds from a donor for the purchase of air purifiers in every classroom and all common areas. A grant from Nash County helped cover the cost of personal protective equipment. Multiple area organizations donated boxes filled with food, games and paper products for students who remained on campus throughout the summer. In addition, the Harrison Family YMCA organized a drive for its members to donate non-perishable food, paper products and toiletries.

As a college, we’ve tried to do our part in returning the favor to the community that has so generously supported us. Every Monday and Friday throughout the past semester, elementary students were able to view Bishop Book Club videos from our various sports teams. Each week, a different student-athlete would read a children’s book and provide more information about themselves and the sport they play. Several athletic teams also “adopted” children for Christmas, purchasing toys to make their Christmas a little more special this year.

Our chaplain’s office organized a collection for Operation Christmas Child, where 16 shoeboxes were filled with small items such as socks, hygiene items, toys, books and stuffed animals. In addition, our director of RN to BSN Program organized “Operation Santa Claus” for Longleaf Neuro-Medical Center in Wilson. With most facilities not allowing family and friends to visit in-person, gifts were collected throughout November in order to help put a smile on a resident’s face.

We are thankful to have finished our fall semester in-person when many colleges and universities throughout the country weren’t able to. This was due, in part, to the support we received from the community, along with our Bishop family’s dedication to staying Wesleyan Wise. As we approach our spring semester, we hope to continue this momentum and provide our students with a safe college experience.

From all of us here at N.C. Wesleyan, we hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season. Here’s to a happier and healthier new year.