IUDM is a 36 hour event were thousands of students stay awake for the entire 36 hours to help sick children. Participating students collect pledges and donations from friends and family before the event to sponsor their participation. A lot big US colleges have some sort of Dance Marathon these days and the majority of them work with Children's Miracle Network. CMN works with freestanding Children's hospitals throughout the US and Canada and it holds a special place very close to my heart.
At IU our fundraising went to the Ryan White Infectious Disease Research Center at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Since IUDM was founded in 1991, almost $12 million for the has been raised to treat pediatric AIDS and other infectious diseases. Back in college, my IUDM teams and I went back and forth over the $1 million line a few times. I was there during 9-11 and the following few years were difficult when it came to fundraising. I was so proud this last weekend to see this photo from the 2012 event:
Yes, that says $2.125 Million. As in dollars. In the words of one of my fellow Executive Council Alumni Members, "BOOM!". I try not to make this blog overly personal most of the time but I just had to share my excitement with you all. I feel so proud that an organization I worked with for 4 years has become so successful.
What's crazy to me is that the oldest video I could find on you Tube is from 2006. Several years before that (I don't want to admit how much older I am than the pumpkins in this video) I was one of the crazy people on stage leading the Line Dance as shown in this video:
The committee on stage is called the "Morale Committee" and we were in charge of keeping everyone excited for all 36 hours of the event. It wasn't easy but I still think of my time with IUDM as the some of the absolute best times of my life. I still can't believe how extroverted I became when the cause meant a lot to me. IUDM is what lead me to work in fundraising for over 6 years after grad school and is also why I like to feature charities that mean something to me here on this blog.
Thanks for reading and I hope this inspires you all to go make a difference, however large or small, in your community.
FTK - For The Kids