Elizabethtown College students sup- ported the organization To Write Love on Her Arms by participating in the “Love Moves 5K,” walk/run Sunday, Feb. 24th. Over 25 people participated and helped raise more than $500.
To Write Love on Her Arms, or TWLO- HA, is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people who struggle with issues such as depression, substance addictions, self-harm and in some cases suicide.
Each person who participated in the race was charged a $25 registration fee. Etown’s TWLOHA chapter will keep 25% of the profits with the remainder of the money going directly to the TWLOHA national or- ganization. The profits not only came from the registration fee, but from merchandise sales and raffle tickets.
The club expected to make around $500, and planned to keep $125 for the club and to send $375 back to the organization. The club will know the exact amount of money by the end of this week after they receive a report from the business office. The money will then be divided and sent to the TWLOHA foundation.
The 75 percent of the proceeds that will go directly to the To Write Love on Her
Arms foundation will be used in a variety of ways. While the organization has money directly invested into treatment (according to the TWLOHA website, to this day they invested over $1,000,000 in treatment and recovery), they also use the money raised for educational and outreach programs, fundraising events and MOVE conferences.
The other 25 percent of the money that Etown’s chapter collected will go towards paying for the club’s expenses, which include paying for activities, trips and any materials the club may need throughout the year. Next year, the club hopes to bring the founder of TWLOHA to campus to come and speak Etown students about the organization’s mission.
This event would not have been pos- sible if it weren’t for junior Beth Pearson. In October of this year, Pearson started the chapter for TWLOHA to help bring awareness to the Etown community. In order to start a chapter for this organiza- tion, the founder of the group must attend a conference hosted by TWLOHA called the MOVE Conference. Both president Pearson and vice president Rustin Dudley, a junior at Etown, attended the MOVE Conference in Melbourne, FL. There, they gained a lot of information about the origination and fundraising ideas.
After becoming an official chapter, TW- LOHA contacted all of its chapters asking
them to hold a fundraiser in the month of February and among the list of options was a 5K. “We wanted to do something that could involve both the campus and the community. We wanted a way to get the word out without being in people’s faces,” Dudley said. “We thought that a 5K was a really good opportunity to do that.”
While Dudley was the point person for the race, the responsibilities in planning the race have been divided between herself, Pearson, and their staff advisor, Stephanie Dixon, a mental health counselor at Etown. With input from their club members, the group picked a date, time and location and filled out an application for a permit from the township.
Every participant received a free “swag bag” at the end of the walk/run. The bag contained with a water bottle, a granola bar and a t-shirt if the racer signed up by a certain date. The bag also included a few promotional papers from RoadID, one of the races’ sponsors who provided gift cards for the raffle, as well as some information about the TWLOHA organization and mental health.
The “Love Moves 5K” walk/run was a success. The race exceeded the club’s ex- pectations. They hope that it will help raise more awareness in the Etown community and that that the success of this year will carry over into years to come.