One of the most rewarding experiences of my college career has been my involvement in Carolina For the Kids. CFTK is the largest student-run non-profit in the state of North Carolina and we work yearlong to benefit the patients and families of UNC Children’s. But this post isn’t about how great we are or how much we’ve accomplished, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.
I joined the organization as a participant in Dance Marathon freshman year because it was something all my friends signed up for. I never dreamt that I would end up where I am today, serving as the public relations chair on the executive board for CFTK.
As the years progressed, I’ve grown more and more passionate about the cause; I’ve gotten to see more of the impact our organization makes first-hand and have played a more direct role in translating our cause into action. Along with that, I’ve seen more of the behind the scenes of leading a non-profit, and it’s not always pretty.
Being entirely student-run, we’re far from perfect. We’ve had some pretty major accomplishments in our 20 year history, from raising $6 million for the patients and families of UNC Children’s to establishing UNC Dance Marathon as a Carolina tradition. But we’ve also had our fair share of struggles along the way.
Each year we run a One Day fundraising campaign where we set out to raise a certain amount of money in 24 hours. The past two years we’ve fallen flat of our goal, and this year we were determined to hit it. Back in September we decided to set the 2020 goal as $60,000, and the campaign would run Tuesday, February 25th at 7 p.m. to Wednesday, February 26th at 7 p.m..
From the title of this blog alone, you can probably guess how it went. $27,247.39. Not exactly the 60 grand we shot for. In fact, not even close.
College survival tip #9: Don’t let your accomplishments get overshadowed by your goals. Celebrate your successes without the context of your expectations.
The truth is, a group of college students raised over $27,000 in under 24 hours for their local children’s hospital, and that’s pretty freaking amazing. It may not be half of our goal, but that should not for a second downplay the accomplishment of the event.
I’m incredibly proud of my peers that made this happen, regardless of whether we hit our goal or not. That’s enough money to fund 5,450 meals in the children’s hospital so that parents don’t have to leave their bedside to get a hot meal for dinner. It’s 1,815 nights a family can stay in the Ronald McDonald House free of charge. It’s 545 gas cards for a family to drive from Wilmington to NC Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill to visit their sick child.
Goals are important, but it’s not something to beat yourself up over if you don’t meet them. The progress towards the goal should first be celebrated, then it can be turned into a learning experience for the future. From this, we can take away what went well, what didn’t, and where to go from here. But for now, we will celebrate what we did accomplish.
(PS: if you’re feeling inspired to donate we’re still fundraising up until Dance Marathon in March, learn more and support here)