As the school year begins, students are finding ways to become involved on campus and making an impact on the community at large.
On the early Saturday morning of Aug. 27, over 100 students gathered to volunteer, participate or just watch one such specific event: the India Run for Hope sponsored by the American Cancer Society Foundation.
The purpose of the run is to raise money to help fund palliative care and treatment programs in India.
As cancer rates increase exponentially in India, lack of awareness and treatment options cause millions of deaths every year.
Due to the scarcity of resources, patients rarely get the medical attention they need in a timely manner. For such a heavily populated country, the small percentage of doctors who are able to help is very small.
The American Cancer Society Foundation is working with the India Cancer Initiative to help spread awareness and provide readily available medical help for those who need it.
For the majority of volunteers the cause was personal. In Tech’s highly diverse community there is a large group of students who have strong familial ties to India and the surrounding countries in South Asia.
Volunteers spoke of how they hoped the money would help fund cancer research and possibly help their family and friends who are still living in India and are battling cancer.
Whether having seen strife and pain at close quarters or having heard stories from parents and family about the level of poverty that still grips their country, the volunteers were all striving towards helping any and all that they could.
The event itself was centered on a 5-kilometer fun-run through the Tech Campus. Many runners woke very early in the morning just to get to the event and get registered in time.
The SAC Fields held food stalls, musical performances, a water balloon fight, corn-hole and a moon bounce.
Volunteers and runners came together in the end after the run to have fun and celebrate what they had accomplished that day.
Many of the organizations had no affiliation to South Asia but supported the call to overseas philanthropy for impoverished cancer patients nonetheless.
Cancer research is a cause that many align to because of personal experience or connections to those with the illness.
Multiple organizations took part in organizing the event with students from Tech, Georgia State and UGA.
Sororities and Fraternities such as Alpha Iota Omicron and Delta Phi Omega were major contributors in both volunteers and funds raised.
Student organizations like the Georgia State Indian Cultural Exchange (ICE) and various church organizations were also there to support the cause.
According to them, it didn’t matter which country the funds were going to as long as what they were doing was directly saving lives by curing cancer somewhere in the world.
The volunteers’ heritage made them more sensitive to the plights of people in their countries and that is why the task of raising the money and working on the event was fulfilling.
For those students and faculty the knowledge that they could be helping someone they know was their favorite part of the fund-raiser. In the end the event raised a total of $15,052 to go towards research to help find a cure for cancer.