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November 15, 2021

By Molly Alpern, Assistant Director for Advancement Communications

On Tuesday 11/30, the Ethical Culture Fieldston School will join organizations around the world to take part in GivingTuesday, a global day of giving. Generous support from our community is crucial and allows us to continue to deliver the world-class progressive education our School is known for. Rose Turshen P’31, ’34, Director of Annual Giving, and Kavita Bordia P’22, ’26, Manager of Annual Giving, share more about GivingTuesday, the impact it has on ECFS, and what they would like their fellow parents/guardians to know about supporting the School.

What is GivingTuesday?

Bordia: GivingTuesday is a day of giving that unleashes the power of generosity around the world.

Turshen: It’s incredible and powerful to see how people worldwide come together to give back to the causes and organizations they believe in. It’s so exciting that ECFS gets to be a small part of this worldwide movement.

The Class of 2021 planting trees during a Community Service Learning Day
How does GivingTuesday mirror the ethical curriculum at ECFS?

Turshen: ECFS teaches our students from an early age the importance of taking care of themselves and their community. GivingTuesday is all about the power that one person can have. It calls us and compels us to take action and have an impact on our world.

Bordia: Generosity and giving are part of the education that students receive at our School. Whether it’s through mentoring programs like the Bridge to Bridge program or Student to Student (STS) leadership, community service programs, or affinity groups, we see it throughout all of their time at ECFS.

Why is GivingTuesday an important time for people to give?

Bordia: This GivingTuesday, we were challenged by an anonymous group of donors to secure gifts from 250 donors. If we do, they will make an additional $50,000 gift to ECFS.

Turshen: There’s also something to be said about the power of a community in action. It’s motivating, compelling, and exhilarating when you reach your goal. Everyone wants to be part of a winning team!

Volunteering with Rise Against Hunger in 2019
Volunteering with Rise Against Hunger in 2019
Do people only make large gifts on GivingTuesday?

Turshen: Not at all! Part of why I love GivingTuesday is because it reinforces the message of collective generosity. We ask all members of our community to make a meaningful gift. Some may be large gifts, some may be small, but we celebrate and welcome all giving. It’s not necessarily about how much you give, it’s about being part of the collective generosity.

Bordia: This year, more than ever, gifts of all sizes will help us get to that goal of 250 donors, which will unlock an additional $50,000. It also shows our community that ECFS is thriving and that we all stand together for our School.

Rose Turshen, Director of Annual Giving, with her husband Vinni Drybala, Dean of the Class of 2022, and their children Juna D. ’34 and Vera D. ’31
Rose Turshen, Director of Annual Giving, with her husband Vinni Drybala, Dean of the Class of 2022, and their children Juna D. ’34 and Vera D. ’31
You’re both parents of current ECFS students. What would you like your fellow parents/guardians to know about supporting ECFS?

Bordia: We give to ECFS because the progressive pedagogy, amazing faculty, and unique experiences were the reason we chose this school for our kids, and tuition alone doesn’t cover the costs of those things. We give to keep our community strong, to help provide the unique ECFS experience to all students, and to support the faculty and staff for all of the amazing work they do.

Turshen: Giving back to ECFS is part of the experience. In the classroom, students learn about ethics and make their own personal contributions to their communities — both in and out of school. As parents, it’s our responsibility to lead by example and reinforce the values that our children are learning every day. These values set our School apart from every other independent school in New York City and are the reason why so many of us choose to send our children here. Every child at ECFS benefits from our philanthropy, and, if you can, we hope you will support our School.

Kavita Bordia, Manager of Annual Giving, with her husband Rakesh and their children Ritvik B. ’22 and Atiksh B. ’26
Kavita Bordia, Manager of Annual Giving, with her husband Rakesh and their children Ritvik B. ’22 and Atiksh B. ’26
How do you talk with your children about giving back?

Turshen: In our home, we talk about giving back all the time. Sometimes it means giving money to lift up others, other times it means volunteering. ECFS has given us the opportunity to carry that conversation home from school. It’s important for our children to know that they don’t have everything, but they have a safe home, food on the table, and the opportunity to go to an amazing school. There’s a lot for us to be thankful for, and that inspires us to give back.

Bordia: We talk about why we need to support different causes and why it makes a difference. The impact changes with each cause, but the message is the same: Give because you can.