When many people think of UNI Dance Marathon, they think of the success that we have had in raising money for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. They think of the numbers and the dollar signs.
One thing that many people forget is the aspect of raising awareness, because what does raising awareness really do?
By raising awareness for children with life threatening illnesses and injuries, we spread the word of these diseases and accidents in hopes that someday there will be a cure. We are spreading awareness in hopes of early detection and prevention of life threatening illnesses and injuries. Most importantly, by raising awareness, we give our families hope. Imagine how great it feels for those kids to not feel alone. Imagine how a child in the hospital feels when an entire stadium turns their heads away from the game to wave to them. Imagine what it feels like to have your entire school send a video to you showing support while you are receiving treatment in the hospital 96 miles away. These acts of support aren’t directly raising money for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, but they are directly impacting those kids that spend day after day inside that hospital.
UNI Dance Marathon believes that spreading awareness at a young age is key to making a lasting impact. We are on a mission to spread awareness throughout elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools across the state every year. Our organization partners with schools to hold “Mini Dance Marathon” events planned and led by students themselves. By spreading awareness early, these students get to learn first hand what it is like to fight for their peers that may not be as healthy and lucky as they are. These students get to learn leadership skills and philanthropy beginning in elementary school. UNI Dance Marathon is spreading awareness to prepare and educate future leaders of Dance Marathon organizations across the nation.