This article first appeared from The JED Foundation.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Delta sorority at Wofford College hosted a fundraiser “Get Out of Bed for JED” benefiting The Jed Foundation (JED) on October 9th, 2018. The fundraiser brought in $5,708, surpassing their goal of $4,000 to support mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
The fundraiser included an event featuring speakers talking about various mental health topics and a cookout.
Donations were collected online through JED’s DIY fundraiser platform. Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Delta members encouraged people to send their fundraising pages to any friends or family members who they thought might be interested in donating. The event was a terrific way to bring together the campus community, and a great example for other organizations who are looking to put on a fundraising event for JED!
If you would like to host your own fundraiser for JED, check out these helpful tips from the Wofford College students:
- Post campus-wide announcements and posters on areas that get a lot of traffic like dining halls or libraries
- Invite faculty members and administrators
- Create social media graphics to post leading up to the event
- Create a fundraising appeal via email to parents or alumni
- Participants at the event were offered “life-savers cards” with resources from the JED website. Participants were also encouraged to sign the event banner as a way of showing support.
When promoting the event, it’s important to tell why the event is happening and why it matters. SAE and KD members saw the need for an event to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention because they knew it was something that resonated with the students, faculty, and staff members.
It’s important to have speaker at your event. Here are some examples of speakers who spoke for the Get Out of Bed For JED event:
- Carter Atchison, current President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, provided opening remarks, while Delacy Rowland of Kappa Delta offered closing remarks. Both students spoke about their own personal experience with mental health.
- Lisa Pappas spoke about her journey after the loss of her son Cameron, a former Sigma Alpha Epsilon member at Wofford, who died by suicide in 2015.
- Lauren Hultstrand presented a keynote speech focusing on the theme, “Conversations: Opening up about Mental Health.” Hulstrand is the former Mental Health Project Coordinator at SC Thrive.
A great way to bring people together is food! Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Delta hosted a cookout meal for those at the event. The Spartanburg Humane Society also brought dogs and kittens to the event and the meal was a nice way to thank people for coming and to wrap up the event.
When organizing a large event, it’s important to have help. Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Delta recruited the help of campus faculty members and other organizations to help put on the event. While the idea originated with Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the fraternity felt that a more collaborative approach would strengthen the goals of the event. Kappa Delta co-sponsored the event and Wofford’s Campus Union, Zeta Tau Alpha, and Kappa Sigma also provided support. Wofford’s Culinary Services (AVI) provided supplies for the cookout. The Office of Communications and Marketing helped with campus-wide messaging and designed the promotional poster for the event. Tate Meatworks provided hamburgers and hotdogs for the cookout, the Spartanburg Humane Society brought dogs and kittens, and Spartanburg’s Boy Scout Troop 1 provided the grill and the chefs for the food at the cookout. It truly is a team effort!