By Elianna Novitch and Sara Nelson
At age 22, Allie Stutting has helped raise over $11 million for pediatric healthcare. And she is just getting started.
Stutting, a University of Iowa College of Education alumna from Princeton, Iowa, has been part of Dance Marathon, a national organization that provides support to youth cancer patients and their families throughout high school and college. She became the 2018-19 Executive Director of University of Iowa Dance Marathon, the third-largest Dance Marathon organization in the country.
Through her work with Dance Marathon, she discovered her passion for healthcare philanthropy and is using the skills she learned at the College of Education at the University of Iowa Center for Advancement as a full-time staff member, working with corporate partners and the Children’s Miracle Network to raise funds for the Stead Family Children’s hospital.
“As the Executive Director with Dance Marathon, I saw a different world out there in how I can help support kids and families, and that is in healthcare philanthropy,” says Stutting. “Volunteering at the Pediatric Center at Stead Family Children’s hospital, I saw some of life’s greatest struggles and life’s greatest triumphs. I saw what philanthropic dollars could do within a hospital setting and I saw that my strengths really aligned with that. I felt like bringing more dollars to those kids and families was something that I really needed to explore.”
Her passion for helping people does not end at supporting pediatric healthcare, she also created a nonprofit organization to support older and immunocompromised members of the Iowa City community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When the pandemic first began in the United States in March, I was telling my grandparents not to leave the house at all. My family that luckily lives close by would take care of everything they needed. In that moment I thought about the other people who don’t live by their grandparents and can’t pick up their groceries for them. What about those who are immunocompromised or older in our community who needs someone to help them out,” says Stutting.
She then tweeted to see if anyone would be interested in being part of a network of support for older adults and immunocompromised people in the Iowa city community. Roughly 400 people reached out wanting to help. The response was much bigger than she had ever anticipated.
“A lot of people reached out saying they were eager to help and to share their areas of expertise, which was incredible,” Stutting says. “That’s how we’ve been able to build something so quickly that’s hopefully going to be strong and effective for the community. There are people on this campus who are more than willing and eager to help. I’m really glad that we have a new platform for people to get involved and fill a need in our community during this time.”
She went to work rallying fellow UI students and friends, fundraising for startup costs, and onboarding and training volunteers. Within a matter of a few days she had created a non-profit organization from scratch.
The organization, Iowa City Erranders, has served approximately 120 community members, from delivering groceries, picking up prescriptions, and dropping off mail at the post office, and will continue to serve the community throughout the duration of the pandemic.
Stutting’s philanthropic drive and service to the Iowa City community have all come from a desire to help people that was instilled in her from her family.
“I have always grown up in a family that taught me, ‘Give all that you can in this world’. I have five brothers and sisters and incredible parents that have constantly supported and pushed me in all that I do, which has inspired me to give back as a Hawkeye,” Stutting says.
While she is not working in a classroom setting, Stutting says that the skills she learned at the College of Education has helped her be successful in her philanthropic work.
“Everything that I learned at the College of Education is applicable to the world of fundraising. While I am not taking the teaching route anymore, the mentorship I received at the College of Education was unmatched. I learned the importance of advocating for yourself and others and how to use my talents and strengths to fill needs in your community,” says Stutting.
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