Written By: Maggie Waters and Emma Saltzman
Even if you’re not in State College over fall and winter break, there are still so many ways that you can support THON™ from afar! Breaks are a great opportunity to spread THON’s mission across the country and the world. Here are some ways that you can take the fight against childhood cancer beyond Pennsylvania and spread hope across the world.
- Social media
Holiday breaks certainly do not mean social media breaks for much of the student body and their families. A popular social media fundraiser is posting Bingo Boards (example down below). Apps like Canva, Notability, and even the Instagram app itself can allow you to create these boards. Bingo boards can even have dares on them to help incentivize people to help fill your board more. You can even charge more for special dares! Include extensions or links to your DonorDrive on any social media platform that allows the link. If you post to Facebook, a great tip to get more viewers and donors is by tagging your family members or anyone willing to share THON’s mission.
- Ribbon sale
Every dollar/cent makes a difference, you can get creative with it! Ask your hometown high school to let you can outside of a sporting event. Businesses, especially local and small, are usually more than willing to let you set up outside on a Saturday morning for the brunch rush. If you live in a neighborhood, leave flyers in mailboxes that have directions to access your DonorDrive or better yet, just knock on the door! Business cards can include information that will help donor’s tax benefits and make them more willing to donate. Spice up your canning progress by getting a cheap spool of yellow ribbon and pins from your local craft store and charging for pediatric cancer awareness ribbons! Just always be sure to ask for permission first!
- Talking to family members
Between seeing the relatives and the awkward conversations at the holiday dinner, be comfortable with sharing THON’s mission to family! For the family that is not familiar with technology, allow them to use your phone to donate. If they only have cash, collect it and give it to the THON Office located in the HUB (HUB 227D)!
- Gift Card Initiative (GCI)
Gift cards can be donated from now all the way to THON weekend. If you find some old gift cards lying around the house or want to buy some to donate, submit them to the THON Office! If you want to search for a business donation, simply speak with a manager and ask about a potential charitable donation (there is a script on THINK in the Resources Tab -> Fundraising folder). Gift cards that are the most needed include those by Ace Hardware, Aldi, Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Staples, Visa/MasterCard, Walmart, and Wegmans. Other gift cards that are needed include those by Bed Bath & Beyond, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Giant, iTunes, Sam’s Club, Target, and Weis.
- Donation boxes in local businesses
Donation boxes are small cardboard boxes distributed by THON to businesses across the country. Donation boxes are a great way to fundraise and spread awareness about THON in your local community. If you know any local businessowners in your hometown, you can call to inquire about placing a donation box at their business. Volunteers can find a script to assist them on THINK.
The holidays are all about giving, and THONvelopes are a great way to fundraise for your organization. If your organization is doing THONvelopes, you can make sure that your family gets one by finding out their address over winter break.
Even if you’re not seeing family in-person over the holidays, you can still spread THON’s mission to them by reaching out through text and email! THON has plenty of templates on THINK for volunteers to use to spread the mission to friends and extended family members. Catch up with your loved ones and spread some holiday cheer while supporting a great cause.
- Make kids mail
Kids mail is a great way to show your direct support to children and families battling childhood cancer. Kids open cards with jokes and positive messages during Kids Mail Call THON weekend. All you need is construction paper, some markers, and some fun stickers if you have them! Make sure to include jokes and fun drawings. Kids mail can be dropped off in the THON Office, HUB 227D.This is certainly not an exhaustive list. THON’s mission comes in many shapes and forms and can become even more successful with unique twists. School breaks are a perfect time to continue THON’s mission as we get closer to THON weekend!