Alumni In Action – Program Overview and Application Process
Our shared history is replete with songs and lyrics nudging, encouraging, and sometimes imploring audiences to get outside themselves and engage in the world in a constructive way to break down barriers that separate nations and cultures. Today, our history continues to call to us, as alumni, to engage in our communities, our nation, and around the world.
After our time on the road, we melted back into society to educate ourselves (or further our education), created families, careers and dreams. All too often there was no time or funds left for altruistic efforts, even if the heart was willing.
For more than twenty years, the UWPIAA has been annually honoring individual alums for their selfless devotion to a cause, nonprofit, or disaster relief through the J. Blanton Belk Outstanding Alumnus Award and the Everyday Hero Awards.
To further encourage volunteerism, alumni connectivity, and initiatives of the heart, the UWPIAA Board of Governors provides our Alumni In Action program.
Alumni In Action encourages alumni to join hands in service to a cause wherever the heart leads. The project may just involve fellow alumni or might reach beyond the UWPIAA community to involve other volunteers – whether family, friends, or other organizations.
Alumni In Action aims to:
- Continue our heritage of community and world service
- Promote Up with People throughout the world
- Build bridges of understanding
- Engage alumni in meaningful dialogue and activity
- Encourage alumni to think globally, and act together on a global or local level
- Enhance the opportunity for alumni to interact, connect, and have fun
Alumni who have participated in a past shared project, such as post-Hurrican Katrina recovery, have described the experience as a highlight of their lives. Old friendships were renewed and new life-long friendships were forged. Volunteerism brings out our humanitarian hearts.
The UWPIAA Board of Governors will fund up to $1,000 per approved volunteer project
The UWPIAA funds are not intended to cover all expenses associated with such efforts, because part of volunteering is a personal commitment of both time and resources. Funds are limited to alumni participants and materials for a project. Team leaders are encouraged to solicit additional funds from other alumni or organizations. Past projects have shown that many alumni do not have the time to give several days or a week to a project, but will offer financial assistance.
Approval of and monetary support for a volunteer or performance effort does not make the UWPIAA a “sponsor”. We simply intend to provide encouragement, networking, and a little monetary assistance. For liability purposes, as volunteers, you are responsible for your own safety while traveling to and from the volunteer activity and while you are completing the project. Those who have done this type of work often partner with a much larger organization, such as church relief groups or Habitat for Humanity. Before working with these groups, forms are usually signed releasing them of any liability. Please refer to the Application Form for more information.
How To Apply For Alumni In Action Funds
Alumni in Action program funds are available to help defray the costs of community impact projects that are organized by and involve UWP Alumni. Projects can be any type of difference-making action that takes place in your own local community or in some other locale where you would like to contribute your energy. The main qualification for being awarded AIA funds is that your project is carried out by a group of two or more UWP alumni working together.
Your application will be reviewed by UWPIAA’s Alumni In Action Committee and you will be informed of the decision in a timely manner. Responses to most applications can be expected after a one-week timeframe, but remember, the UWPIAA is an all-volunteer organization, so we will do our best to process your application as soon as possible.
For qualifying projects, Alumni In Action program funds are awarded as a reimbursement of expenses based on two things: the receipts submitted for reimbursement; and, the number of UWP alumni who participate. We generally award $100 USD per alumni participant, up to $1,000 USD.
Alumni In Action is not intended to help fund other not-for-profit organizations, but funding consideration will be given to those projects organized by alumni who are directly involved with other not-for-profits, as long as these projects get other UWP alumni involved.