The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday December 5th

One shirt, two shirt, red shirt, blue shirt

I have enough T-shirts. Long-sleeve, short-sleeve. White tee, tall tee. Turtleneck, V-neck. You name it, I’ve got it in at least one color. I definitely do not need any more.

And this is why I’m tired of the charity 5k races. Is there really no other way to galvanize the support of a group of people toward a specific cause? I’ve got to think there is.

I’m not sure why so many people agree to pay to run all these 5k races. Maybe it’s a guilt-free way to feel like you’re making a difference. Pay $15, spend 30 minutes running and bam! You’ve just helped some third-world country cure their hunger problem or find a cure for cancer.

The shirts? Charity shirts have come a long way since being completely covered with business sponsors on the back. While, admittedly, some are pretty cool, isn’t one enough? Or are they a collector item that I don’t know about?

The prizes? I’m pretty sure the same few guys from the cross country team win every single time.

Charity 5ks sparked my animosity, but my dislike of boring fundraisers goes beyond 5ks. We should hold all of our fundraisers accountable to a higher standard of creativity.

UNC Dance Marathon may be one of the few exceptions. While the Dance Marathoners may be entirely too over-enthusiastic, at least they have a compelling product that requires a lot of time and dedication from the people who participate. No other fundraiser is like theirs.

While I obviously can’t stop the barrage of 5ks from occurring each year, I’ve made a list of criteria for students to follow before participating in any club or organization fundraiser that I encourage everyone to follow.

n?Time: I recognize the importance of giving time, money and service to charity. It’s a great way to get behind a cause or foundation that you really believe in. But if you are going to participate in a charity or fundraiser, you want to feel like you gave some of yourself to that organization in the form of time or sweat.

n?Originality: The fundraiser you attend doesn’t have to be the first of its kind. That’s a lot to ask. But hopefully there is something unique about it, because if you’re attending a benefit just for the sake of attending, you’re simply going through the motions.

n?Time sensitivity: There should be a limit to the number of times you participate in the same genre of fundraiser. I’ll throw out the arbitrary time of three weeks. If you want to run a 5k, make sure you have at least a couple of weeks before you go out and run the next one.

n?Selectivity: Don’t whore your benevolence around. I think some charities would be appalled at how willing some people are to help any random organization with a cause and a slogan. Show some selectivity, and it will make your commitment mean that much more.

With your help, we can maybe ensure that this year’s clubs and organizations host interesting, mentally and physically stimulating fundraisers that are actually worthy of our time and money.

David Bierer is an At-Large Columnist for The Daily Tar Heel. He is a senior business major from Charlotte. Email him at bierer@email.unc.edu

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