Georgetown Retail & Luxury Association Raises Funds to Support COVID Relief Efforts for Hospital in Northern Italy

GRLA fundraiser

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With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting communities worldwide, the Georgetown Retail & Luxury Association (GRLA) was presented with the opportunity to help those in need through a recent fundraising initiative. The club decided to raise funds for Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, which was founded in 1474 and is located in Bergamo, in the northern region of Italy.

“When the Coronavirus outbreak cut our semester short, our club’s planned charity event at McDonough had to be cancelled,” said Francesca Canovi (B’22), head of special projects. “Many of our members had to go back to their home countries. This fundraiser presented an opportunity to help those affected by this global crisis.

“At the time, Italy was the country with the highest number of casualties due to COVID-19, so our club decided to organize a fundraiser to support the hospital, located in the worst hit area of the country,” she added.

To coordinate the fundraising efforts, club members worked remotely across different geographic areas, with many of the students currently back in their home countries, such as Italy, Panama, and Turkey.

“Through Zoom meetings and WhatsApp messaging we managed to coordinate our international team, which was engaged with producing and sharing our fundraiser materials through social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook,” said Canovi.

The student organization designed marketing brochures and promoted the fundraising initiative online among the Georgetown community members, which allowed them to raise over 1,180 euros, which is the equivalent to approximately $1,360.

“We were very excited we were able to reach our funding goal,” said Canovi. “The Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital received our donation through a third-party organization called CESVI, with whom we collaborated through one of our Italian student members.”

The fundraiser provided GRLA with an opportunity to adapt to this new environment and work as a team completely online. Club members are looking forward to using this knowledge for hosting exciting activities for the fall.