Lessons Learned From IUDM Students

(From August 30, 2015)

This weekend, 100 Indiana University Dance Marathoners came out to Skydive Indianapolis to jump for the kids at Riley Hospital for Children and they taught us a lot. Here are just some of the lessons we learned. 

IUDM Jumps #FTK

OUR FUTURE IS IN VERY GOOD HANDS.

Don’t let the nightly news fool you. The world isn’t imploding or full of terrible people. The proof: IUDM.

These students epitomize everything our world should be: caring, committed, smart, articulate, empathetic, polite and yes, adventurous. This group was amazing to be around, and just watching them interact with and support each other was inspirational. As for IU senior and event organizer, Maddy Vonderohe, your future employer will be lucky, indeed.

IF YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING ENOUGH, YOU CAN CONQUER ANY FEAR.

Skydiving wasn’t on every student’s bucket list. In fact, some were really scared. Yet, their belief in what this event could mean to a child at Riley and the 2015 Dance Marathon fundraising literally pushed them to new heights.

IUDM STUDENTS ARE NOT WHINERS.

Saturday was not idyllic for some of the jumpers. With precipitation in the air, there were times when free fall stung. We had a weather hold or two. And we didn’t have a single complaint. Maybe that’s because the skydivers from IUDM weren’t jumping for themselves, but For the Kids. And let’s face it, a one-minute free fall is nothing compared to months of chemotherapy.

#FTK IS A LOT MORE THAN A HASHTAG

For The Kids or #FTK is a rallying cry, a mission, an entire belief system. It drove these students to overcome fears. It was behind every cheer of support, every “you made it” hug, every ear-to-ear grin. These young adults are passionate about the children at Riley; they want to make a difference. And they do.

THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS.

In case you didn’t know (and we didn’t before this event), IUDM is big time. It’s the second largest student-run philanthropy in the ENTIRE country. Last year, it raised $3.2 million for Riley Hospital for Children. Since 1991, it’s raised over $20 million for the Ryan White Center for Infectious Disease.

THIS ORGANIZATION DESERVES OUR SUPPORT.

That means Skydive Indianapolis and anyone reading this blog. To donate to Indiana University Dance Marathon, please visit www.IUDM.org/donate.

Help them reach new heights in fundraising. Do it #FTK.