The University of Memphis Student Veterans Organization (SVO) is the voice of the campus Veteran community. Founded in 2014, our organization is 100% student led and is for Veterans, by Veterans. The Veteran community is one of the most diverse on campus and is comprised of men and women from all backgrounds and ages united by our service to the community and nation. We firmly believe that our service didn't end when we put away the uniform; we still carry that obligation in service to the campus and greater Memphis community.
Our mission is to empower Veterans in pursuit of their educational and professional goals in order to nurture a tradition of lifelong scholarship and service to the community.
This year we conducted extensive research into our membership to fully assess how we can best serve the Veteran community. Our data showed that we have roughly 600 Veterans, Servicemembers, Dependents, and Survivors (VSDS) using VA educational benefits, and 20 that don’t receive any assistance. Of those 600, over 150, including National Guard and Reserve personnel and survivors, do not receive the annual book stipend or housing allowance.
This research along with personal testimonies revealed that many Veterans and military affiliated students didn't have their textbooks well into the semester. This set them back in their learning and hampered their ability to be fully engaged within the course. Some of our members revealed that they had to choose between buying $600 worth of textbooks or paying their rent. Others recently left the service and weren’t able to get their books in time and were forced to withdraw from the course. Hearing these stories motivated our team to take action and do something to help our fellow Veterans.
The Tiger Veteran textbook library was founded in August 2016 and it has become the capstone of our program for the year. SVO members and alumni loan or donate their books to the library and it is based on the honor system of “don’t be that guy/girl”. In the first month of its inception, we received eight donations and four members have utilized the library to save an average of $127.00. This inspired us to take it to the next level of providing a larger selection before the beginning of the next semester.
That’s where you come in.
The SVO is requesting $6,000.00 to purchase high demand textbooks in order to plant the seeds for a sustainable library that will serve the Student Veteran community long after we graduate. Rest assured that we have no intentions of wasting your time or contribution. Your generous donation will help provide Veterans the tools necessary to succeed in the classroom. Our research allowed us to find the books that will have the most usage and longevity, and this data is available for any donor that would like to see where their contribution goes, to the cent. The ultimate endstate of the Tiger Veteran Textbook Library is to develop partnerships within our growing alumni base and local community businesses to maximize the longevity of the program.
By contributing through MomentUM, you are ensuring that we receive the full donation and it is tax deductible. Your contribution is more than just money; it is an investment in yesterday’s warriors, today’s scholars, and tomorrow’s leaders. We have proven it on the battlefield and are proving it in the classrooms, board rooms, and statehouses across the nation. Our organization is now one of the largest and most active on campus and this is only the beginning.
Thank you so much for your support and be sure to check out our videos and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates!
Go Tigers Go!