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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Melissa Arencibia wants to win a $2,500 sweepstakes to give her family in Cuba a break from their financial hardships.

“It’s really difficult in Cuba,” the 18-year-old family, youth and community sciences freshman said. “I want to help them out.”

The sweepstakes is from Life Is Good, a merchandise brand focusing on positivity. The company held its largest event of the semester Wednesday on UF’s Plaza of the Americas.

At the event, student brand ambassadors handed out free s’mores, chocolate chip Midnight Cookies, water bottles, towels, stickers and frisbees. They also gave students the chance to sign up for a $2,500 sweepstakes. For each person who signed up, the brand would donate $2 to the Life is Good Kids Foundation, said Nikki Torres, a UF Life is Good ambassador. About 200 people signed up, so the brand donated about $400, she said.

Torres, a UF marketing and telecommunications senior, said the sweepstakes was all about giving back in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

“The brand is all about optimism,” the 21-year-old said. “It makes you believe that life is a little bit better.”

The students who signed up for the sweepstakes also wrote what they were thankful for on fall-colored leaves. Notes declaring gratefulness for friends, family, pets and school flooded the table.

Melanie Deutsch, an account manager at The Campus Agency who works with Life is Good, said the events help students move away from stressful thinking habits and and focus on enjoyable moments in their lives.

“It’s the power of optimism, to really enjoy every bit of life,” she said.

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