Iowa City Stories

May 11, 2010

University of Iowa – Fields of philanthropy

Hawkeye’s helpers – The leader of the pact

Caitlin Mangin spending time with the families who are a part of Dance Marathon

The University of Iowa has remarkable students who are a part of the many organizations and philanthropies on campus. These students put their leadership skills to the test and dedicate their time to help raise money for their cause. Molly McDonnell, Caitlin Mangin and Lauren Schulze are prime examples of having leadership positions in a philanthropy/organization to help groups in need.

Molly McDonnell – QUASH

Molly McDonnell is an active member of QUASH, which is an organization to help increase awareness and raise money for those with Alzheimer disease. Many students like McDonnell enjoy the feeling of giving their free time to help others and to increase awareness of a specific cause.

When asked why McDonnell joined QUASH, she replied, “I joined the Hawkeyes Fighting Alzheimer’s group to be apart of the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. As a college kid, I don’t have much time for anything outside of the classroom setting. I have little money to make a significant impact in research. QUASH is a way for young people like myself to actually make an impact through fund-raising and just having a good time with good people for a good cause even in the chaotic and limiting college lifestyle.”

Caitlin Mangin – Dance Marathon

Caitlin Mangin also believes in McDonnell’s philosophy in fund-raising. Mangin has recently been crowned as one of the 49 Dance Marathon Morale Captains for 2011. One of the many reasons why Mangin joined Dance Marathon was because she “wanted to be more involved and Dance Marathon is a great organization to get involved in to help those with cancer.”

“Raising money isn’t that hard. If you really put your work into asking around, it’ll all work out in the end. I emailed a bunch of my family members and the money kept coming in. I raised more than the minimum and it felt great.”

So there are dancers and then there are Morale Captains. What exactly are Morale Captains? “Morale Captains promote Dance Marathon and get people to join and tell people about it. They help fund-raise and we help go visit the kids in the college unit at the hospitals.

Lauren Schulze – Kappa Alpha Theta

The Greek community is also actively involved in fund-raising such as Phi Kappa Psi and Kappa Alpha Theta. These two houses recently had their combined philanthropy event here at the University of Iowa on May 1, 2010. The two houses hosted the event at the field house for the basketball tournament.

Kappa Alpha Theta’s philanthropy chair, Lauren Schulze was in charge of organizing this year’s “Phi Psi & Theta Hoops! 3-v-3 Basketball Tournament”. Schulze let us know exactly what their philanthropy event consisted of and where the raised proceeds go.

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Lending a helping hand – The crew

Others simply join the organization because they relate to the group of people within. Many groups and philanthropies consist of members who have the same interest in the cause. If it weren’t for the members, then these groups wouldn’t exist. The work and dedication of members of certain organizations really make a difference.

Chloe Lee

Chloe Lee participated in the “Phi Psi & Theta Hoops! 3-v-3 Basketball Tournament,” where I got a chance to ask her why she decided to participate in this particular event.

“A lot of the girls in my sorority enjoy being active, physically, and on campus. We wanted to help the other Greek houses for a great cause because we know we like when we have many Greek participants in our philanthropy, too.”

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Madison Sheets

Senior Madison Sheets joined a sorority because she “wanted to meet other girls that were like [her] because all of [her] best friends were off to college together and [she] was all alone so [she] thought rush would be a good way to meet people”.

Sheets’ sorority has a different approach than most when it comes to promoting their event and raising proceeds for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, which is a foundation for those diagnosed by breast cancer and those who have survived. Sororities at the University of Iowa do an excellent job at marketing their event – whether it is through social media websites or face-to-face communication, Sheets’ sorority uses the old fashion method because “it is more effective”.

Women of Kappa Alpha Theta during the 3v3 Phi Psi - Theta Hoops Philanthropy Event

“We are all encouraged to ask family members and friends for donations for the race. We also talk to businesses around the Iowa City area and the University for donations, as well. We go canning during home football and basketball games. We chose Z’Mariks and Coldstone, where they give us a certain profit and proceeds. We also go around to different fraternities and sororities and other student organizations asking them to sign up as teams so we can get more donations for the race. And all the proceeds from the race go to our philanthropic fund”.

Sheets loves giving her time to those in need because “it actually feels like your making a difference. The time, stress about making the event as successful as the last makes it all worth it – especially because you’re helping people who have their lives on the line.”

Kaitlin Brown

Like Sheets, sophomore Kaitlin Brown is also a part of a sorority and other organizations on campus. One organization she cares about deeply is Dance Marathon because she “enjoys raising money for a good cause.”

Brown ran the Chicago Marathon in 2009 – which is also a very successful fund-raising event hosted in Chicago, Illinois. Many University of Iowa students ran the Chicago Marathon last year, as well.

Each year, all participants of Dance Marathon have to raise a minimum of $400, where as those who run, or take part in another marathon have to a raise a minimum of $750.

Students usually don’t have the time to raise this kind of money but students, like Brown, tend to surprise and impress many people with the amount of money each of them raise. “I had a lot of fun and a lot of support raising this money. It makes me feel like I was able to make a difference.”

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These dancers take a quick little break and smile for the camera

A little goes a long wayThe givers

Many college students already have a full schedule of classes, work, volunteer work and other activities on campus. Because of these other commitments, most students find donating money just as helpful, because it truly is.

Dominique Deery

Dominique Deery is an active giver to the University of Iowa and the associations affiliated with the University. Deery donates $25 a year to both Dance Marathon and the University of Alumni Association.

“I give to the UI because I am a big believer in improving the quality of student life and making sure it is always an improving experience for future Iowa students.”

Deery’s mother and aunt passed away from cancer and her mother always used to talk about the babies in the cancer clinics that would get the same kind of treatment [her mother] did so Deery wanted to make an impact on a child’s life.

Many students are like Deery and are a part of the University of Iowa Alumni Association because they want to better the education for incoming students. Sheets is also a part of this organization because she wants to “help make students coming to the University of Iowa have the same and better experience” like she.

“For both, I am glad to be a part of it. I wish I could give more, but I feel like every gift counts. What if they were only $25 away from having all the money they need? Then I made a difference. It makes me want to work harder to be able to give more some day.”

Katie Rosch

Katie Rosch, a sophomore at the University of Iowa, gives gifts to the Women in Business organization in the College of Business. She, like Deery, wants to see this particular organization improve and become very successful because Rosch knows “this organization will help those who want to be successful business women someday, just like me”.

Rosch continues to be an active member and continues giving to Women in Business, knowing it will “help [me] in the future. I’m in college, I have low funds but I just think of it as, I’m helping something I strongly believe in and I want this to continue in success. I can’t whip out $100 out of my pocket but I can give $10”.

Nick Eckerman

Nick Eckerman is a student who gives to organization on and off campus. Some organizations he’s been previously, and presently donating to have been Environment Iowa, Dance Marathon at the University of Iowa and United Way.

Eckerman, like many college students can’t seem to fit the time to help organize events so “giving money is the least I can do”.

“My boss takes out 5% of my paycheck for each pay period to donate to United Way. Knowing my earned money is going to a worthwhile cause makes work even more fun that it already is.”

Eckerman is ending his college career here at the University of Iowa this May. He feels great that even though he couldn’t necessarily put the time and effort like other students on campus to coordinate events, Eckerman “donated $25 every year to Dance Marathon, totaling $100”. “I give a lot of credit to those who’ve danced for 24-hours for the past four years, I know I couldn’t do it. In general though, I feel great about giving and will continue giving”.

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