By Caroline Ingold
Every day, 16,000 children worldwide die from hunger-related causes, approximately one every five seconds. Every year, Student Union hopes to combat this issue through their Kids Against Hunger fundraiser. Although the money collection period lasts only for one week at DHS, various fundraising opportunities were available for a month. The money raised is divided equally between people in Midland County, the broader United States and the rest of the world.
“A lot of people don’t realize that it’s not just the world that we’re helping; we’re helping people right here in Midland,” senior class president and Student Union Chair Sarah Arent said.
Most students are familiar with the cause, as every year a song is played through the loudspeakers after every hour encouraging students to donate. The idea is to make the song as irritating as possible. This year, the goal of $2500 was met after only two days of Justin Beiber’s “Baby” being played. Junior Baylie O’Neill was annoyed by the repeated chorus.
“I don’t usually mind that song, but when they just played one part over and over again it got old,” O’Neill said.
Assistant Principal Ted Davis was equally eager to get the song off the loudspeaker, urging students to each contribute a dollar. According to Arent, he collected $100 within one hour.
“If it bugs people enough, they will donate,” Arent said.
In previous years, songs had to be played for an entire week before the goal was met. Arent explains how Student Union modified the process to shorten the time spent collection donations.
“Last year we played a whole song, but this year, it was just the chorus playing for seven minutes,” Arent said. “Even if they did like Justin Beiber, they didn’t like listening to the chorus for that long.”
Despite its apparent effectiveness, some argue that students should donate because they want to, not because of an annoying song. Arent disagrees.
“I think it’s a good way to get the money,” she said.
Donation opportunities included Dollar Day, where Student Union representatives collected money from students during classes, the Kids Against Hunger dinner, individual donations and dinners at Buffalo Wild Wings and Bennigans.
The dinners at Buffalo Wild Wings and Bennigans took place on Feb. 16 and March 3 respectively, during which time 20 percent of proceeds went towards Kids Against Hunger when patrons presented a special ticket that was posted on lockers Feb. 10. All money collected went towards the fundraiser’s funds for next year.
In addition, whatever money exceeds the $2,500 goal will roll over to meeting the goal next year. Although the official numbers have not yet been calculated, Arent expects that they will exceed the budget due to sales by Student Union members. All are required to sell $5 tickets to the Kids Against Hunger dinner, in which every Student Union member brings a side dish or beverage. For $8, a dinner ticket could be combined with a run/walk ticket, but the run/walk was cancelled because not enough people knew about it.
Despite this setback, Student Union donated more than $2500 to the organization, as Thrive Financial promised to match half of what is collected at DHS.
“What we make we get half of that added to our amount to package food,” Arent said.
Food packaging will take place on March 12 at Central Middle School, in which students can participate. Sign-up is available in the office for two shifts; either 11 to 12 or 12 to 1.
“People who have gone to the packing say that it’s just so cool and such a good assembly line, so much gets done and everyone comes together for a good cause,” Arent said.
Student Union encourages students to help with the cause in some way, either through food packaging, participating in one of the dinners or giving a donation.
“It’s just a huge thing to help people,” Arent said.