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Image of A photo of Will Davison, wearing a May Week Alternative t-shirt.

Jesus students celebrate giving with May Week Alternative

Undergraduate student Will Davison is Jesus College's rep for May Week Alternative (MWA), a 'celebration of giving' which encourages students to donate the cost of a May Ball ticket to charity.

We spoke to him about how MWA works, and why people should get involved.

What is May Week Alternative, and how did it come about?

May Week Alternative (MWA) is essentially an attitude towards charity - that it should be something we do with happiness, optimism and intention, rather than something we do every now and then out of guilt. At Cambridge (and now also in Glasgow, Oxford and Durham!) we have a community that shares this belief. Together, we donate money to a charity of our choice, get our donations match-funded by sponsors, then have a garden party this summer to celebrate, which looks like it should be in person! Honestly, I’ve never come across a better way of doing charity.

What’s your role within MWA?

I see myself as someone who gets an official role in liking MWA. Normally I’d just be able to chat to people about it, but in a virtual world it has had to take the form of Facebook posts a little more often to show people how cool a community it is.

How can people get involved or donate?

The MWA website has people explaining better than I ever could what they find most special about the community and MWA values, so I’d recommend having a look around. Our student donations window ends on the Sunday 28 February, so get involved soon! Anyone can get involved and come to our term-time events, and we’re always looking for sponsors to match-fund donations.

What kinds of events will MWA be putting on this year?

Our main event is our summer garden party! This happens during May Week and all expenses are paid for by our sponsors, which means that 100% of your donation (200% once it’s been match funded!) can go to the charity you choose. The garden party will almost certainly be in person following the announcement this week! We also have virtual socials and random events, which you can find on the MWA Facebook page. Anyone is welcome to come, regardless of whether they make a donation.

Why should people support MWA, in one sentence?

If you want to donate money to charity, this is the most fun and most effective way to do it I’ve ever found.

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