Writing to save lives

Service does not always require backbreaking work or lots of money. Instead, students can turn to one student organization to write letters for a notable cause.
Up ‘Til Dawn, an organization with over 300 chapters at various universities and colleges, helps facilitate letter-writing campaigns to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, a pediatric treatment and research facility in Memphis.
“Because [the hospital]never asks the patient’s family to pay for treatment, housing or even food while their child is at the hospital, our efforts are essential to its operations” said Kelly Riley, the outgoing teams chairperson of the UM chapter of Up ‘Til Dawn.
The organization’s major event in the fall is when students are invited to fill out pre-written letters to raise money for the hospital.
Riley has been surprised by the outcome she has witnessed during the event.
“The letter-writing party is an extremely easy event, and yet its impact is immense,” she said. “Just one donation from a family member can help save the life of a child who has barely had a chance at life.”
According to Sara Klaben, the outgoing executive director of the organization, over 5,000 letters were mailed during their last letter-writing campaign.
“To run a hospital each day it costs 1.5 million dollars,” she said.
At the upcoming men’s basketball game against North Carolina State, they will present a $20,000 check during half time to a representative from St. Jude’s, as well as a patient from the hospital.

Applications for the executive board are due March 5. To request an application, email

Ramon Galiana may be contacted at

February 24, 2010


Ramon Galiana

News Editor

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