(December 13, 2012)

Up 'til Dawn holds annual letter writing campaign for St. Jude

SHREVEPORT, LA — Students across campus met at Kilpatrick Auditorium prior to finals week for Up 'til Dawn, a student-led fundraising program for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Attendees wrote 20 percent more letters than last year.

Up til Dawn logo

"This is such an amazing cause because it helps individuals in 'the dawn of life,'" said senior Justine Kemp, President of Up 'til Dawn. "St. Jude treats children free of charge and takes into account the child's family as caregivers. It also does a tremendous amount of research—new procedures and techniques are being developed all the time."

Working to promote the value of service learning, Up 'til Dawn invites student organizations across the campus to join their fundraising efforts. Students organizing the event provided raffle tickets, food, and entertainment for all participants. The large turnout did not surprise Kemp:

"Centenary is a very proactive college in that several students are involved in charity work. I feel the liberal arts education here teaches us to be well-rounded citizens who appreciate people from different backgrounds with their own individual story."

Student Sarabeth Rivers shared her own story and experience with St. Jude at the Up 'til Dawn event. Rivers was housed at St. Jude for a month and a half. She saw firsthand the impact not only of food, clothing, and toy donations but also the generous smiles of volunteers:

"Sharing my experience is the only thing I can do to thank St. Jude—without them I'm not sure where I would be. Not everyone understands the life of a cancer patient. Everyday can be a struggle, yet even after treatment, St. Jude continues to care for you. I know I'm not the only survivor on campus, but through my support, hopefully Centenary students will show theirs."

Last year, Up 'til Dawn raised $5,000 for St. Jude through its letter writing campaign. This year's fundraising goal has been set at $10,000.