The Fall 2017 Do Good Mini-Grant program received 54 applications, of which 38 were brand new to Do Good (have never applied for funding or competed in the Do Good Challenge). Student teams applied for funding to help with the development and implementation of their student-led, student-run proposals which aim to create a positive social impact for a social issue or cause. Applicants ranged in issue area from education disparity to sustainability and recycling, from food insecurity to gender equality and so much more.
The Do Good Institute granted $10,000 to 27 teams, with teams each receiving up to $500. In addition to funding, teams will receive coaching and support from the Do Good Accelerator & the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.
Fall 2017 Mini-Grant recipients include:
BabyTemp is developing a wristband for mothers to monitor their newborn's temperature to prevent sickness or death due to hypothermia. Risk of mortality associated with neonatal hypothermia remains a challenge in developing countries where infections, preterm birth, and asphyxia are exacerbated by infant hypothermia. Currently developing a prototype, BabyTemp hopes to test the devices with B'more for Healthy Babies and, eventually, areas of Andhra Pradesh, India.
The Canned Food Drive Art Exhibition seeks to alleviate food hardship and insecurity for University of Maryland students, faculty, and staff through a large-scale donation to the Campus Pantry. Inspired by Canstruction, a nonprofit that creates charity art exhibitions featuring structures made entirely out of canned goods, the Art Exhibition plans to host a campus-wide food drive and sculpture competition. Residence halls, fraternities, and sororities will compete against each other to collect canned goods and then construct creative and artistic sculptures. The Art Exhibition will also bring awareness to issues of hunger and food insecurity on-campus and in the local community.
Care Packages for Local Mothers-In-Need aims to support new mothers-in-need in underserved communities by creating and distributing post-pregnancy care packages with iron-rich foods, hygiene items, and educational materials. Led by the UMD student organization Gove’s Quest, the project partners with the Pregnancy Aid Center (PAC), a local non-profit maternal health clinic that provides low-cost care to uninsured and underinsured women. Gove’s Quest will assemble 40 care packages and create multilingual health brochures and distribute them to mothers through PAC this Spring.
College Mentors for Kids pairs college students and kids in Montgomery County and Washington, D.C. for one-on-one mentoring and activities on campus at University of Maryland. The student organization is planning to expand its programming – first the organization will host a community service project where mentors and mentees create care packages for homeless shelters and second, host a community gardening day where kids can learn about plants, vegetables and nutrition.
DUNK is an organization that teaches local elementary students basketball skills and sportsmanship by sending weekly UMD volunteers to Prince George’s County schools. Many of the schools served by DUNK do not have after-school basketball programs, and many of the children are new to the sport. DUNK volunteers teach students new basketball skills, discuss sportsmanship, and facilitate weekly student-led health presentations. DUNK will hold an annual end-of-year basketball tournament at UMD for six elementary schools and 70+ elementary students to showcase their work.
Equals Equals Minority Student Hackathon/Design Sprint aims to introduce and engage traditionally underrepresented minority groups to diverse fields in technology through series of engaging and collaborative hackathons. The purpose of these hackathons is to promote collaboration and tech related learning among students. This year Equals Equals Minority Student Hackathon will host a hackathon for Spring 2018 where students will be provided with resources and workshops by industry professionals to build a program, develop apps or anything tech related that they can think of.
Good Stuff Good Works is a social enterprise that connects indigenous craft in Ecuador to UMD students by selling bracelets made by women's cooperative based in rural Ecuador. Good Stuff Good Works have sold over 200 bracelets in the past six months and now they aim to expand their existing operations. Good Stuff Good Works will be focusing on expanding their operations by selling more bracelets and branding their products.
Greek Life Serves works to alleviate food insecurity in the Washington, D.C. area by providing meals to homeless people in D.C. and underprivileged children in the College Park area. In years past, members from many Greek organizations on campus come together and donate food from their chapter houses. The student organization will expand their scope and services and plan to hold a large-scale event, fundraising and volunteer drives and will be launching a grocery bag initiative to recover unused produce, package it, develop recipe suggestions and deliver the packages to families.
Helping Out My Younger Self (HOMYS) assists Prince George’s County high schoolers with the college application process through SAT workshops, college application support, and a scholarship fund. HOMYS will work with Northwestern High School this Spring to hold weekly SAT workshops for 50+ students. HOMYS will also raise funds for a $3,000 scholarship fund to support local students cover college expenses.
Make Wells Run Run Well is a student run project dedicated to transforming Wells Run Park into a greener, sustainable and kids friendly space. Currently, due to the overflow of the Wells Run Tributary, residents of the University Park are unable to access the park. Makes Well Run Run Well will be partnering with Maryland Day Sustainability Engineering (MDSE) and local community in University Park to solve the flooding problem in the park and renovate its design. Makes Well Run Run Well will design a solution to repair the irrigation system in the park, build bird houses, outdoor park benches and engage volunteers from University of Maryland and University Park community to remove trash, debris, and invasive plant species from the park.
The Motion Project is a nonprofit that seeks to give children with physical disabilities the same opportunities as children without by using social welfare to help keep students in school and combat the cultural discrimination of people with movement restrictions. After partnering with the Colombo Friend-in-Need Society, a NGO prosthesis and orthotic clinic located in Sri Lanka, The Motion Project began sponsoring educational grants for students who received treatment at the center. Already, they have funded educational grants to over 35 students consistently over the past two years. To continue these and other initiatives, The Motion Project will partner with Sri Lankan Student Association (SLSA) to host an on-campus fundraiser and art sale this spring.
Minority Males in Medicine Forum aims to increase the number of minority males matriculating into medical school from UMD, addressing the shortage of minority male physicians in the country. The Forum will be held at UMD with a panel of 10-15 minority males in the medical field who will share experiences and offer information and resources to minority pre-med students at UMD. The Forum also hopes to connect premed students with mentors in the field who can provide ongoing advice and support.
Nicaragua Project by Engineers Without Borders aims to provide a local community in El Cacao, Nicaragua a sustainable clean water system. The main goals of the proposed plan are to implement a clean water system, provide educational tools to the community for the operation of the new system, and to improve the overall health and sustainability of the community by providing clean water. The team will travel on its first visit to the community in Nicaragua in January 2018 to conduct a baseline study and assess the water system. In addition to the needs assessment, the trip will pilot a mixed-methods baseline study evaluating economic, health, and social outcomes of the proposed clean water system solution.
Noble Uprising aims to empower homeless women in shelters, by providing them with career readiness workshops and sustainable job opportunities. Nobel Uprising works with local shelters in Montgomery County and utilizes them as channels to connect with the homeless women. Nobel Uprising has already launched a pilot program, ‘The one heart project’. This pilot project partnered with the Walmart Women's Empowerment Program to provide the women at Montgomery Avenue Women's shelter with career development workshops. Nobel Uprising will be further expanding its operations by registering itself as a nonprofit in Maryland and expanding its outreach through the website.
Nourish: Mommy and Me is a student organization that aims to support pregnant women and their children and provide them with healthy foods to sustain them throughout their pregnancy. Nourish partners with Gabriel Network, a nonprofit organization that helps mothers in crisis pregnancies in Prince George’s County and Howard County. Nourish will continue to provide the mothers residing in Gabriel Network’s maternity home with reliable, nutritious, and delicious food each week with Nourish Boxes.
On Call Magazine is a news magazine with the goal of creating a multimedia-based network that promotes global health literacy through investigative reporting. They want to get the public interested and aware of under-the-radar issues, misconceptions, and new findings in the health realm through untapped mediums in the science community. On Call Magazine will get the public interested in the public health realm through their web based digital journal and public arts project.
Operation Gratitude Care Package Drive seeks to improve the lives of the military personnel stationed all around the world by providing them with holiday care packages. This year, Operation Gratitude will send 35 individually addressed Care Packages to military personnel deployed overseas. Each package will contain snacks, hygiene products and personal letters of support. Through care donation drives and support letters writing campaign Operation Gratitude will provide students at University of Maryland a way to lift the spirits of military personnel through active and hands-on volunteerism.
The Petey Greene Program at UMD recruits, trains, and coordinates student volunteers to tutor in education programs in prisons and jails. Tutors provide individualized assistance and model helpful study habits for incarcerated individuals. The program serves facilities in Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County as part of the national Petey Greene Program. The Petey Greene Program at UMD hopes to supplement the facilities’ GED program through the collection and donation of quality, up-to-date educational materials and resources.
Project Girl: Coffee for Cambodia is a revenue-generating venture that will sponsor girls in Cambodia, enabling them to stay in school and complete primary education. The venture will partner with the the Girls Be Ambitious Program in Cambodia, which facilitates the education sponsorship program. Project Girl will sell branded coffee through a roasting company that offers private labeling and also hold fundraisers throughout the year. It aims to raise nearly $2,000 and sponsor 10 Cambodian girls for a year.
Recyclify is developing a phone application and smart bin to increase recycling rates at the University of Maryland. Currently, 54% of recycling bins at the STAMP Student Union are contaminated with materials that are non-recyclable. Because of the high rate of contamination, these bags are sent to the landfill. Recyclify aims to educate and incentivize students through the app with a “Green Score” that provides redeemable points at STAMP food court locations. Recyclify has already been awarded a $1,500 Earth Mini-Grant from the Office of Sustainability and will be working closely with Dining Services and Facilities Management to develop the next iteration of their prototype in the spring semester.
ROOTS is an organization aiming to provide solutions to agricultural problems faced by developing countries through partnerships with local farmers and civil society organizations. ROOTS is currently partnering with Afrika Youth Movement Uganda to create a model farm in central Uganda for agricultural development and training. One challenge Ugandan farmers face is a lack of soil testing equipment for determining optimal fertilizer and crop types, and ROOTS will fundraise this year to purchase soil-testing equipment for the model farm.
School for Smiles provides free, sponsored, regular oral hygiene lessons in elementary schools as an effort to promote oral health and decrease oral diseases which are prevalent among low-income children and families. School for Smiles is currently being implemented in two elementary schools in Maryland and reaches out to over 200 children in grades pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. They will continue to promote oral health in children by providing them with free oral hygiene supplies, in class oral hygiene based activities and by creating community partnerships between oral health professionals, companies, parents, and elementary schools.
She’s the First is a nonprofit organization that fights gender inequality through education. The University of Maryland student-run chapter aims to support girls from low-income countries become first-generation scholars and community leaders. She’s the First will raise awareness about the importance of education and host several fundraising events and activities to raise money that ultimately provide scholarships to girls in low-income countries. The funds raised help to cover the cost of tuition, uniforms, books, tutoring, and room and board for young girls who otherwise cannot afford to attend school.
Symbiont Health is working to accelerate the response and rescue of the elderly who lose consciousness and fall through an enhanced medical alert system. This organization’s device and alert system detects falls through motion sensor and gyroscopic technology. It is looking to expand its services by implementing a mesh networking system for WiFi routers to better track patient behaviors and real-time, vital diagnostic information. The group plans to test the router hardware in a HCR Manorcare home, in addition to continuing testing with 45 Alzheimer and dementia patients.
Synapto is an early stage biotech company revolutionizing Alzheimer's diagnosis through portable EEG and Machine Learning. Currently, Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, affecting nearly 44 million people worldwide. According to the 2016 World Alzheimer Report, 20 to 50% of patients were not properly diagnosed in middle to high income countries, and due to lack of medical infrastructure and access to care, less than 10% were diagnosed in low-income countries. Their innovative device moves away from costly neuroimaging diagnostic techniques and qualitative methods of diagnosis to a more robust, affordable, and objective measure of analysis, a portable Electroencephalogram (EEG). They are currently seeking FDA approval (under the 510(k) Class 2 Medical Device Pathway) to continue their work. Synapto has already won 1st place in National Institute of Health’s DEBUT competition and has been featured in more than 27 news outlets including Forbes, Science Magazine, and Washingtonian.
Terp Thon the largest student-run philanthropic organization at the University of Maryland, raises funds and awareness For The Kids at Children’s National Health System. Throughout the year, Terp Thon hosts various events, fundraising activities, and awareness campaigns, which culminate in a 12-hour Dance Marathon each March where students stand in support of current and former patient families of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. All of the funds raised provide patients and families with top-notch medical care and array of support programs transforming their experience at the hospital.
WIAA (Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics) Day aims to introduce middle and high school girls to aerospace engineering to increase the number of women in the aerospace field. WIAA plans to host its third annual WIAA Day in March for 100 middle and high school girls with 90+ volunteers. The event’s theme will be the James Webb Space Telescope, set to be launched by NASA in 2018, and the day will feature panelists and speakers from NASA, aerospace activities, and a design competition.