FTK Diaries: 27 Days

Hey everyone!

Starting today, I’ll be doing a series of “diary” entries as a countdown to my favorite philanthropy event, For The Kids at UTK 2016. We’re 27 days out from the main event and the executive committee is in full force.

As a reminder, I serve as the Vice President of Community Outreach for For The Kids at UTK. For The Kids at UTK is the largest student-run philanthropy organization at the University of Tennessee. Since our founding in 1995, we have raised over one million dollars for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s Hematology and Oncology Clinic. This year, we have a goal of $70,000 and can’t wait to surpass it. We raise money for the kids year-round and every spring we host a 12-hour dance marathon celebration for students to wrap up the year and reveal our fundraising goal. This year, the event is on April 1 and we’re expecting 500 students in attendance.

We just finished out our Dollar Days Fundraiser with $8,296 towards our goal. FTK Dollar Days was a 16-day, social media-driven fundraiser where we requested $1 donations. It was amazing to see the FTK community come together and work hard toward the completion of this initiative. I am forever in awe of the power of social media.

We were thrilled that Dollar Days was such a success, but we’re always quickly moving from one project to the next. It’s a new week and we’re currently working really hard toward encouraging registration for students. As of right now, the registration fee is $25 and on Monday it goes up to $35. Luckily, we filled Hollingsworth Auditorium to its limits last year, so this year we’ve moved to a bigger location in Brehm Arena on UT’s Agriculture Campus.

The largest student-run philanthropy is only getting bigger and I’m so thankful to have been a part of this expansion for the last two years.

With one week remaining until Spring Break, the executive committee is rushing to set up meetings, make all those important phone calls, reserve equipment and lock down entertainment and food for the 12-hour event. The week after Spring Break will be filled with cleaning, decorating and setting up so this is truly crunch time for us.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been going back to a quote I found posted on the Miracle Network’s Dance Marathon Program’s Instagram (phew, that’s a mouth full).

It states, “If a movement is to have an impact, it must belong to those who join it not those who lead it.”

This is a constant reminder that no matter what I put into this organization, it’s nothing without all of the committee members, general members, hospital staff, donors, friends and families that make For The Kids at UTK what it is today.

When we all work together we can make a huge difference in the lives of these kids.

It’s a stressful time for all of us, but I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time and energy. Tune in the next few weeks for a behind-the-scenes look into For The Kids at UTK 2016.

Check out why I love For The Kids at UTK: HERE.




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