Harnessing the Power of oneJWU

Raise your paw if you're ready for this year's oneJWU:24 Hours of Giving! On March 12, Wildcats from across the world will come together to create meaningful impact through fundraising. From scholarships to athletics, student organizations or any of JWU’s six colleges, donations can be put to work in dozens of areas. Participants have from midnight to midnight to make their mark!

oneJWU can be a powerful tool for student clubs and organizations, allowing them to fundraise for resources to enrich their members experience. Jennie Bakewell ’23 shares how she harnessed the day’s generosity and raised funds for the JWU Gymnastics Club.

Please share your name, major, class year and club affiliation(s).

"My name is Jennie Bakewell ’23. I majored in Food and Beverage Entrepreneurship, and was the co-founder/president of the JWU Gymnastics Club."

JWU gymnastics team posing on beam and mat

oneJWU, the university’s annual day of giving is a great opportunity for student clubs and organizations to fundraise. Can you share your experience participating in last year’s oneJWU?

"Each year since the club's inception in 2020 we have participated in oneJWU: 24 hours of giving. We have grown in our success, with the 2023 year being our most successful, raising almost $5,500 for our club. We had donors from far and wide, from friends and family of team members, members of the current JWU community, and alumni of the university. An alumni donor shared the following quote, “There wasn’t a gymnastics team when I went to JWU and I’m so glad there is now, I know how awesome the opportunity is, and I’m hoping you can have a great time.” Seeing alumni supporting our club warmed my heart because we got our name out not just to family members, but to the greater community including JWU alumni."

two JWU gymnasts smiling and posing together

How has the community’s generosity impacted the Gymnastics Club?

"With the community’s generosity we have been able to offset some of our general operating costs, allowing us to expand our options for travel meets, including having the opportunity to compete at Penn State and attend nationals in Milwaukee, WI in 2022, and Memphis, TN in 2023.

When former co-president, Danielle, and I, first started this club our mission was to spread our love of the sport to the JWU community by offering a space for individuals to try the gymnastics regardless of experience and make it as accessible as we could. This meant figuring out a way to be able to fund all of our expenses to keep member fees to a minimum. Gymnastics is an expensive sport. As a team, we hosted over six fundraisers during the 2022/2023 season to help offset those costs, which helped us tremendously to be able to cover our basic operating costs. We have seen fantastic growth in our team, each year gaining more competitive members, the communities support allowed us to expand our competitive opportunities to our 18 competitive team members, and get JWU's name out on the regional and national competitive stage!

In 2023 the majority of our funds raised from oneJWU were put towards attending NAIGC National in Memphis, TN. Without the generosity of so many Wildcats, we would not have been able to attend and give an amazing experience to our club members. In previous years funds raised from oneJWU had been used to offset competition apparel fees, meet fees and our coaches fees.

With the communities continued support we will be able to keep on giving the opportunity to JWU students to have the wonderful experience of trying the sport of gymnastics, and continue to improve upon our vision of keeping membership fees to a minimum to keep the club as accessible as possible to any JWU student who wishes to join!"

JWU gymnasts

What is your advice to other Charlotte and Providence campus clubs and organizations who are interested in leveraging this annual day of giving for their needs?

"Go for it! oneJWU is a fantastic way for clubs to not only get their name out in the JWU community and be a part of this amazing university-wide event, but to be able to raise funds for their club. oneJWU gives alumni, family, and friends a chance to support their favorite clubs and organizations.

Being a part of a club during college not only allowed me to meet new people and continue doing the sport I love, it was much more than that. I was able to expand and hone my leadership skills, I was met with challenges that allowed for growth in teamwork and communications skills, which helped me develop and strengthen my confidence, which I will carry over into my professional career.

I believe that every student should have the opportunity to be a part of a club or organization during college without worry of financial restraints."

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