‘For the Kids’ hosts event, raises money for children’s hospital

“For the Kids @ UTK,” a student organization, held an event March 27-28 to raise money for patients and families at the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, raising a yearly total of over $43,000.

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Members of “For the Kids” hold a sign showing that they’ve raised a total of $43,226.87 for the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

The University of Tennessee’s student organization “For the Kids @ UTK” hosted an event at the Hollingsworth Auditorium in the Ellington Plant Sciences building to raise money for the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s Hematology and Oncology Clinic from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. March 27 and 28.

Students participated in various events, including a dance marathon, with children that currently are or have gone through childhood cancer and blood disorders.

“It is the most rewarding feeling you can imagine! ‘For the Kids’ really is one of the greatest causes, and I’m so lucky to have taken a part in it,” participant Katee Nall said. “Everyone’s hard work paid off and I’m happy to know the money can help families like the ones I met at For the Kids.”

The event brought in over 300 volunteers, and 100 children and parents, and the organization has risen over $43,000 from all events held this year, surpassing their original goal of $30,000.

“A huge part of fundraising is done by members sharing their fundraising page on social media and getting donations from their family and friends,” Jane Anna Caldwell, one of the directors, said. “The other portion is made throughout percentage nights done year-round and our amazing sponsors.”

Further, the event impacts not only the kids, but also the volunteers and supporters.

“‘For the Kids’ has impacted me by showing me how much I really can do to help. This money goes directly to the children that I do crafts with in the waiting room, and to me that’s the most inspiring thing,” said Caldwell.

Each year, “For the Kids” directors plan to keep the event growing and to set their goals higher.

“These children are going through something bigger than I’ve ever faced in my life and they always seem to brighten my day,” continued Caldwell.

According to their webpage, members of the organization are taught how to teach other students the value of philanthropy and service by raising funds year-round for the children’s hospital, with the goal of emotionally and financially supporting child cancer patient’s families.

Edited by Hannah Hunnicutt