A hard day’s night
Dance Marathon’s kick-off party this past Sunday night reminded me of two essential ideas: that it is important to be involved in something you feel passionate about, and that being involved in a one-day event is still a lot of hard work.
This year, another annual service project will take shape in St. Louis. Called S.N.A.G. (Someone Needs A Gift), the event is an Easter party for underprivileged city children. Although Dance Marathon and S.N.A.G. occur but once a year, these events require year-round planning. It was not by accident, but by persistence and the ability to gain name recognition, that Dance Marathon raised $52,000 last year for St. Louis children in need of medical care.
From the second a freshman walks onto campus, he or she knows about Dance Marathon is some way. Last year, group members put up pink flyers of cartoonish feet on nearly every bulletin board on campus. For months, many students then asked the question “What do those feet mean?” Only when Marathoners painted the underpass and began their campaign to reveal the meaning behind the feet did the questions cease. This year, Dance Marathon put up flyers on freshmen doors with the date of the event, “2.23.02.” With this effort came name recognition and an overwhelming amount of students eager to help out children who cannot afford health care. Over a hundred people showed up to the Dance Marathon kick-off party on Sunday.
There are other successful service projects on campus besides Dance Marathon; however, because of the way Dance Marathon advertises throughout the year, there is no rival at this university as far as middle-of-the-year projects go. The work the committees of Dance Marathon do combined with their ability to make a unified whole behind a noble ideal is unparalleled.
Similarly, S.N.A.G. takes the idea that not every child has a family to be with on Easter or the means to have the Easter he or she deserves. S.N.A.G. aims to collect toys and donations from area businesses and bring together these children for a day of food, fun, and the understanding that every child ought to have holiday joy.
It would be great for there to be several other large, one-serving events that help the poor, hungry or homeless of this city and about which students can feel passionate. But because WU students pride themselves on being so busy, it is the in your face, bureaucratic, annual projects that are going to be the most successful.
For those students who really want to be involved with service projects in the community, it is not hard to find something to do. But the for average student that chooses to let the opportunities come to him or her rather than to seek out ways to involve themselves, Dance Marathon and S.N.A.G. provide an outlet.
Some might think it sad that so many students do not choose to seek out opportunities to make an impact on St. Louisans’ lives. Instead, we should focus on-and support-the work that the Dance Marathons, the S.N.A.G.s, the Stone Soups and the Each One Teach Ones (and many other groups) do-to get their names out, to get people involved, and to make it easy for people to take their part in improving the world.
Popularity: unranked [?]