Madeline Leung is the 2021-2022 E-Writing Subchair
Public Relations, Campus Fundraising, Creative Media, Formal Affairs, Entertainment, Morale & Recruitment, Operations, Community Relations, Hospital & Family Relations, Organizational Donations… These are all of the committees that Carolina For The Kids offers for students who are interested in joining our organization. From that list alone, it is safe to say that we truly have positions to cater to anyone's interests.
If you are like me, maybe the idea of advertising and social media management interests you. As a first year student at Carolina, I joined the Public Relations committee on a whim. I honestly did not know much about the organization at the time, and simply thought that Public Relations sounded fun (despite the fact that it was not related to my major or future career plans). After two years on the committee, I have come to love everything that goes into Public Relations and really enjoy the work that I do!
On the other hand, you can very well find a committee that can advance your skills or align with your academic interests. A student who wants to pursue graphic design in the future may join the Creative Media committee to get that extra experience. Or a student who wants to become a doctor may join the Hospital & Family Relations committee to get more involved with the administration at UNC Children’s. Either way, there is great value and fun in being a committee member.
The plethora of committee members that make up Carolina For The Kids is what keeps our organization running each year and we could not do it without them! Whether you join a committee to help build your skills or to learn some new ones, we welcome you with open arms. After all, all of the organization’s members have one common goal: to improve the lives of patients and families. We are always for the kids!
If you are interested in learning more about each committee, click here. Committee Recruitment Week is happening from August 30th to September 3rd - you can find us in the Pit all week!
Nicole DeBlois is a member of the Public Relations committee
Carolina For The Kids is full of selfless members who are always giving their committees, as well as the organization, their absolute best. Cheryl Phillips, the 2020-2021 chair of the Public Relations committee, is one of these exceptional members. Her committee was in charge of running all social media channels, reaching out to reporters, getting coverage for major events, as well as keeping the blog and website updated. As the chair, Cheryl was in charge of coordinating between different committees in CFTK and other members of the executive board. Due to the shift of making everything virtual this year, Cheryl had to take on new responsibilities of getting engagement for these virtual events and making sure everything runs smoothly. Frankly, she has mastered breakout rooms better than some of our professors ever will after all of the weekly meetings she was in charge of running. She emphasizes the importance of adapting to situations and running with them, similar to what we all did for Kilometers for the Kids.
When asked why she chose to join in the first place, she was candid with her response telling how it was on a complete whim. She feels lucky that she chose “the best student organization out there” and truly gets to see the incredible impact that this club is making. Seeing first hand how the patients and community around Chapel Hill have been affected in positive ways by CFTK’s contributions is rewarding for her and the reason why she is so involved.
She strongly recommends this club to anyone and everyone and believes that CFTK is not only her home but offers the same warmth to anyone. Though the Public Relations committee is where she personally has exerted her time, she emphasizes the fact that there are so many committees that can fulfill diverse interests. The people that this club has brought, as well as the learning skills, is an experience she would never trade. Not only have the people in the club made her experience but the families from PNO and other wonderful people she works with. She is nothing short of excited for what is to come for the future of Carolina For The Kids and hopes that everyone else is too!
Jackson Pace and Lindsey Poole are members of the 2021 Public Relations committee
I wake up Friday morning with a huge smile on my face. It’s my first year at UNC and first year participating in the Dance Marathon! All year I’ve seen so many fun pictures and videos about this day and it’s finally time for me to participate. I leave my apartment and walk to Purvelo, a local cycling studio, to warm up for the big day tomorrow.
After I crush my workout, I head over to Target to grab a few granola bars and my guilty pleasure, a big bag of DUOZ Cheez-Its. This is my secret for staying upbeat and energetic the entire weekend.
It’s 1 o’clock and I meet up with a few other committee members to get our Dance Marathon packets outside of Fetzer Hall. The sun is beating down on us and the warm temperatures put me in the best mood to be on-campus. I see so many other students picking up their packets and try to find out their costume ideas, as I have yet to fully pick out my winning outfit.
Next, I drive over to Party City to browse around for a few extra jungle theme items. I’m really glad that I dressed as an 80s workout instructor for Halloween last year and can piece together some borrowed items from friends. I watch a few episodes of Survivor to get my mindset right and lockdown my strategy for tomorrow before going to bed early to make sure I am fully rested for the long day ahead of me. I can hardly handle my excitement!
It’s finally the day! I hear my alarm start playing CAN’T STOP THE FEELING! and for once, I jump out of bed. I have plans with a few of my CFTK friends to go to Brandwein’s Bagels to start our day off right. Everyone says a good breakfast is the key to a great Dance Marathon, so we had to go with our favorite local restaurant.
I go back to my apartment to put together all of the essentials: two water bottles, snacks, costumes, and my dancer packet. I turn on my favorite playlist of pump up music to get me ready to go and break into my bag of Cheez-its.
It’s 11:59 a.m. and one minute away from starting the best day ever. I pull out my laptop to join the Zoom and I’m ready for the countdown to begin! See you on the other side!
Ella Coxe and Brooke Watson are members of the 2021 Public Relations committee
Carolina For The Kids does so much for the UNC Children’s Hospitals, but none of it would be possible without the amazing committee members that work incredibly hard to make the organization as successful as it is. This week, we want to highlight two hard-working sub chairs from the Public Relations Committee: Nicole Wesche and Chloe Yopp. The PR committee is lucky to have members like Nicole and Chloe and we hope you enjoy getting to know them!
How are you involved in CFTK/what is your role?
Chloe: This year I am the Media Relations sub chair on the Public Relations committee. This is my third year on the PR committee and my first year as a sub chair. As a Media Relations sub chair, it is my job to compile media lists and contact news outlets about covering CFTK events throughout the year. I write press releases and send them out to various news organizations whenever CFTK has newsworthy events like our Virtual Kilometers for the Kids 5K this past fall or our One Day Campaign coming up at the end of February.
Nicole: I’m the Social Media sub chair
What is your favorite CTFK memory?
Chloe: One of my favorite CFTK memories is the time I was able to volunteer at the Pediatric Playroom at N.C. Children's Hospital my freshman year. It was such a fun and rewarding experience to be able to spend time with the patients and siblings of patients and see them smile and have fun. The hospital can be such a sad place for some of these families, so it was such a nice feeling to see these kids playing games and just being kids for a little while.
Nicole: Making breakfast with my committee at the Ronald McDonald house for the patients and their families who are staying there. It was so great to get to interact with the patients and have the opportunity to serve them while they are going through all of the stress and expense of having a child in the hospital.
How has CTFK impacted you?
Chloe: CFTK has really enhanced my experience as a student at UNC. Sometimes I feel stuck in this Chapel Hill bubble when I am constantly on a campus full of people my age, but CFTK has helped me feel more connected to the Chapel Hill community and beyond. When I leave UNC, I can know that I truly helped to make a difference in someone's life and that I had an impact while I was here and I think that is really cool.
Nicole: CFTK has given me the opportunity to volunteer in the hospital and serve the Chapel Hill community during my four years here and helped me to make some amazing friends. I've gotten to know so many people who are so passionate about helping families in need, and this has inspired me to want to give back even more.
Why should people sign up for the dance marathon?
Chloe: If you're unsure about signing up for the dance marathon, as Nike would say, just do it! With the dance marathon being virtual this year, it is less of a commitment than it has ever been before and you still have a chance to make the same impact on the patients and families of N.C. Children's. During this pandemic, I have sometimes found that it is hard to feel like I'm doing something with my life or making an impact because the world is just so crazy right now, but signing up for dance marathon provides an opportunity to make a difference during these unprecedented times. There will be so many fun activities to participate in during the virtual marathon and being able to hear from the patients and families about what your donation has done for them makes it all worth it. So long story short: sign up today
Nicole: People should sign up for the dance marathon because it is a great way to serve those who are in the hospital, make friends, and have a super fun weekend all at the same time!! Participating in the dance marathon has been one of the best and most fun things I've done in my time at Carolina and think that every student should participate at least once!!!
Khanh Vu and Lindsey Poole are members of the Public Relations committee
While the work of CFTK as a service club that helps to raise and donate money for families that have children in the UNC hospitals is widely known, we also participate in a variety of other efforts to help children. We further prioritize the health of patients through intensive research by supporting a Research Grant Program. Like CFTK, the research grant focuses on children and projects tend to be based at UNC. Research funded can be conducted by a wide range of professionals from those early in their career to very established investigators.
For the 2019 research grants, 3 have been awarded:
1. “Novel RNA Sequencing Based Diagnostic Testing for Leukemia,”
- Dr. Alexander
- Evaluate a novel technology that can be used to subtype certain types of cancers, helping to guide therapeutic decisions. This new technology may drastically improve diagnostic capabilities in resource-poor areas
2. “Identifying the Genetic Basis of Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorders,”
- Dr. Pandya
- Seeks to uncover possible genetic causes of a certain form of hearing loss affecting loss. Data from this project will empower larger research projects to better characterize patients and explore genetic etiologies of this disease – a critical first step in research involving rare diseases
3. “Trends in the initiation & continuation of long-acting reversible contraception among adolescent females in North Carolina.”
- Dr. Bianca
- Despite huge strides at addressing teen pregnancy across the US, rates of adolescent pregnancy are higher in the US, particularly in NC, when compared to most other developed nations. This project aims to uncover socioeconomic factors affecting the use of long-acting birth control options in populations across the state.
Faculty are encouraged to apply for the grants and two investigators may be awarded forty-thousand dollars to fund their research. In the past, this grant has helped fund a wide variety of projects based on children's health like improving the process of prescribing antibiotics to children in North Carolina and procedural competency in the placement of neonatal chest tubes. The research grants provide further assistance to upcoming health professionals by offering two CFTK Fellows Awards that fund up to five thousand dollars to fellows in a pediatric training program with a focus on children's health.
These innovative and ground-breaking research efforts are possible through donations from supporters of CFTK like you. Generally, our annual dance marathon and other events are the biggest contributors. This year, it is especially important to remember past successes for patients and their families through generous contributions from sponsors. Despite this year’s unpredictability, CFTK is thrilled to continue to be able to support research grants and the application is still open. We cannot thank supporters and encouragers enough for allowing us to continue to make the lives of patients and families easier during this uncertain time.
Emily Graham is from mightymoms.net and a featured guest writer for our page
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, pregnant women have dealt with many unique concerns. While there are many organizations that support families in tough situations, like Carolina For The Kids, mothers-to-be also need lots of love and encouragement from their friends and families right now. Are you wondering how you can give your pregnant loved one the reassurance she needs? These resources are packed with advice!
Gathering in person to celebrate pregnancy milestones is not recommended at the moment. But you can contribute as your loved one plans for alternatives.
Assisting With the Birth Plan
Creating a birth plan with the pandemic in mind can be challenging. These resources will allow you to help your loved one navigate her options.
Giving Helpful Gifts
Shower your loved one with affection by giving her a thoughtful and useful gift! If you’re stuck for ideas, these suggestions might inspire you.
This pandemic has been a trying time for pregnant women. Trying to plan for motherhood and protect your household from the virus is a difficult task. That’s why it’s so important for friends and relatives to go the extra mile for their pregnant loved ones, and with these resources, you’ll be a crucial part of her support system!
Interested in supporting an organization that supports children and families? Carolina For The Kids raises money for patients and their families at the local children’s hospital. Find out how you can get involved!
Photo via Pexels
Madeline Leung is the 2020 Newsletter Subchair
The year 2020 was a year full of uncertainties, surprises, and challenges. Despite the changes, Carolina For The Kids stayed true to our mission of supporting the patients and families served by UNC Children’s Hospital.
To celebrate the new year, Carolina For The Kids partnered with UNC Children’s to have a special pinwheel celebration. Any purchased pinwheels were placed on the lawn of the children’s hospital. They served to honor the children, healthcare workers, and community. With the pinwheels being a great success, we were able to raise $10,487 to benefit UNC Children’s through the For The Kids Fund. The fundraiser was not only able to spread some holiday cheer, but it created some beautiful scenery (take a look below!)
We are so grateful for all of our donors who made this pinwheel celebration possible. Additionally, we are always happy to see our CFTK members hard at work, planting the pinwheels right outside N.C. Children’s to make it all come together. It is always our goal to make the patients and families feel supported and loved in any way we can.
If you want to learn more about the impact Carolina For The Kids and our pinwheel campaign had, please check out this interview! Here’s to 2021 being the best year yet!
Ella Coxe, Lacy McKee, Jackson Pace, and Brooke Watson are members of the 2021 Public Relations committee
Every year, UNC Chapel Hill students take part in a classic Carolina Tradition - the Carolina For the Kids Dance Marathon. Participants stay on their feet for 24 hours in order to raise money for the UNC Children’s Hospital’s patients and families to provide them emotional and financial relief during their stay. This year, the marathon is on March 19-20, 2021. Keep reading to find out how to survive the Dance Marathon!
Still not convinced? Dance Marathon is as much fun as it is valuable, which is why over 2,000 students sign up each year. Although COVID-19 has erased many things this year, Dance Marathon is not going anywhere. Instead, there will be a virtual marathon with livestreams, Zooms, and more, as well as a shorter in person component. We will ensure the weekend will be full of great memories while still being extremely safe. This week is Dancer Recruitment Week so sign up while you can, you will not want to miss it this year… visit this link to become a 2021 Dancer!
Madeline Leung is the 2020 Newsletter Subchair
Carolina For The Kids’ annual Kilometers For The Kids (KFTK) has never been anything less than a success. This year, we invite you to join us for our virtual KFTK weekend from October 9th to 11th… keep reading to find out why YOU should sign up to run this year!
1. All proceeds directly benefit the patients and families of UNC Children’s!
By signing up for one of the KFTK races this year, you will be supporting the patients and families of UNC Children’s. These funds help cover things that medical insurance cannot, such as travel expenses, food, and more. As a community, we can all come together and work towards this cause.
2. You can join the race from anywhere!
Since Kilometers For The Kids is completely virtual this year, anyone is welcome to participate (not just people in Chapel Hill)! You can run (or walk) wherever you are, whether it be outside, inside, or on a treadmill. Additionally, you can run individually or register with friends, coworkers, family, a club, or a Greek organization.
3. Every participant receives a racer packet, including an exclusive t-shirt and more!
All KFTK runners will receive their own race packet in the mail or by pick-up. No matter what race you sign up for, you will be sure to receive an awesome t-shirt and a few extra goodies!
4. To be a part of an amazing, interactive weekend!
KFTK this year is like no other, being a virtual and weekend-long event. Throughout the weekend, we will be engaging with runners through our social media with a scavenger hunt, raffles, contests and challenges, and even a Spotify playlist for the race. Also, using the hashtag #KFTK2020 will allow everyone to stay connected!