Northwestern Dance Marathon 2020 Overcomes Challenge to Raise $1M+ for the Rice Child & Family Center
Children’s Home & Aid had the honor to be chosen as the primary beneficiary for the 2020 Northwestern Dance Marathon, after a series of lengthy interviews and presentations last year. As one of the largest independent student-run philanthropies in the country, NUDM has raised more than $1 million for its beneficiaries in each of the past eight years. This year, in spite of not holding the event, students were still able to raise $1,029,366 in support of Children’s Home & Aid and the Rice Center – and 10,948 unique donors supported NUDM 2020! NUDM’s financial donations will help fund our therapeutic residential treatment center located in Evanston, the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Child & Family Center. The Rice Center helps kids age 6-15 who’ve been severely abused and neglected heal and return to a safe and loving family setting.
Although the 30 hour dancing portion of the Dance Marathon was cancelled last minute due to concerns over COVID-19, the students quickly switched gears and rallied to orchestrate a virtual dance marathon on social media. (You can read more details on the Northwestern Now website and Better magazine.)
We are blown away by the Northwestern University students’ passion, determination and grit to push through this challenge and take the dance marathon to the next level.
The NUDM team took the Rice Center and Children’s Home & Aid mission to heart. Beyond its financial impact this year, NUDM engaged in 689 service hours with the foster youth at the Rice Center, which included hosting educational events, mentoring partnerships and organizing campus “BUILD parties” of varying activities. “The kids love spending time with the NUDM team. The students are younger and easier for the kids to relate to,” explains program director Sarah Vitzthum. The kids also enjoyed joining the Northwestern students in on-campus service events, such as trick-or-treating during Halloween at the Norris Center, as well as off-campus events including mural painting to decorate the Rice Center.
Lucy Clements, NUDM beneficiary liaison from Children’s Home & Aid adds, “The NUDM students have already given our children at the Rice Center something far beyond any dollars raised or event held: the knowledge that so many caring adults are invested in helping them reach the bright futures they deserve.”
“What we’ve done isn’t special because of the final total of funds we raised,” offers NUDM 2020 Executive Co-Chair Eliana Scobey. “While NUDM is a culmination of hours, days, weeks and months of hard work, it represents so much more than a number. It represents the passion we have for giving children the experience of family, love, trust and safety.”
From everyone at Children’s Home & Aid and the Rice Center, thank you, NUDM students, for everything you’ve done to help our kids in care thrive. We are so grateful for your passion and partnership!