Supporting a cause is more than merchandise

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Jasmine Knox, Staff Writer

I’m going to get fairly controversial here. As an arthritis patient, it warms my heart that so many people (especially my sorority sisters) are on board with the cause. Oct. 12 is recognized by the Arthritis Foundation as World Arthritis Day, and individuals are encouraged to wear blue in recognition. However, I have to wonder how many of those individuals have actually been active in supporting the organization. To them, they are wearing blue in support of a cause they more than likely care about. But to those looking, they’re just wearing blue.

“See, wearing a pink shirt isn’t enough. Maybe specifically at a Breast Cancer Awareness event. If I saw someone wearing a pink shirt, I would just think they were wearing a pink shirt,” said senior Kenny Sullivan. “But if the shirt said something on it, like ‘I wear pink for Breast Cancer Awareness’, it would make a little more sense.”

You may be asking “well, what can I do then? Isn’t moral support enough?” And my immediate answer would be yes, but with stipulations. Basically, don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Go out of your way to make life easier for someone who may be affected with a certain condition.

To support the cause of Childhood Cancer Awareness, donate some of your time to the Ronald McDonald House to help parents whose child(ren) may be undergoing treatment. In support of World AIDS day, coordinate with a local clinic to host a free HIV testing day, like the Allies club did here at Florida Southern.

Now, that’s not to say that the only way to effectively support a cause is by donating time or money. For example, the infamous ice bucket challenge that drew a fanatical following on social media raised approximately $115 million in 2014 for ALS education and research, according to the ALS Association website. The challenge spread awareness about a cause that wasn’t as commercialized as, say, Breast Cancer awareness.

The point is, wearing things and sharing posts are both incredible methods of raising support and awareness for specific causes. The strides in financial support that have come from dedicated events, such as Breast Cancer Awareness month, are immeasurable. Millions of dollars have come from the sales of pink merchandise, registration fees from 5k events, even venues like sports bars frequently hold fundraising events (this past April, a Hooters location in Georgia raised over $600,000 for breast cancer research during one event.) But there are other ways to contribute that are so much more productive.

So next time you buy a rubber bracelet for a cause like the SPCA, consider donating a few cans of dog food or some old towels, for example. Just remember that anything and everything counts, but the best thing you can do is be as active as possible in your support.

 

Photo courtesy of Andrea_44 via Creative Commons