UT organizations honored for philanthropic efforts


Reece Tincher, General News Reporter

Texas 4000 for Cancer, United Missions for Relief and Development and Seva Charities were among the many organizations honored by UT both on the football field Oct. 1 and with a tower lighting on Oct. 26 for their volunteering and charity efforts to help their community and others.

“When we found out we were going to be honored, we were all super excited,” said Aalia Qazi, vice president of UT’s chapter of United Missions, an international nonprofit that provides disaster relief for the underserved. “We were able to celebrate something that we are also passionate about, and I think that meeting the other orgs there was nice because we are a relatively small org in comparison to the ones that were honored.”

UT’s chapter of United Missions raised $2000 this semester alone, as well as volunteering with and donating to charities like the Austin’s Women and Children Shelter, Qazi said.

Texas 4000 for Cancer, a group of students who make a 4000-mile bike ride from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska to raise money for cancer, was among the largest organizations honored. The organization’s 51 riders each raise at least $4,500 to participate in the 2023 trip, said Rachel Williams, a rider for Texas 4000.

Williams said with the money earned, the organization donates to cancer charities and research at places such as Dell Medical School. The event brought attention to the causes they support.

“I’m sure there were a lot of people that hadn’t heard of Texas 4000 before, but now are interested in supporting the cause,” Williams said. “That’s definitely a big benefit.”

Seva Charities was also honored by the University for the work they do in Austin and their partnership with Akshaya Patra, an organization in India that helps ensure that children can go to school and are fed. 

“It felt amazing because I feel like Seva charities has been deserving of recognition for a while, just (because of) the impact that we can have,” Seva president Ryan Jacob said. “I also felt like it made sense, just because so much of the impact that we’re gonna have is based on the UT community.”

Jacob said he believes these events will bring positive attention to the organizations and Seva’s mission. He said he hopes it leads to more people getting involved.

“Our events where we raise money (are) not limited to our members, they’re open to everyone in the  UT community,” Jacob said. “We’re kind of dependent on them to be able to raise money, and they come through every time. (UT) honoring us, it’s just another demonstration of how much they support us and how much they have cared for us in the past.”