How Effective is Ribboning for THON?

Story posted February 18, 2023 in CommRadio, News by Emily McGlynn

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Fundraising can be difficult, so figuring out creative ways to get people to donate money is crucial. Ribboning is a huge source of donations, especially since the removal of canvassing in 2018.

Canvassing is the practice of going door to door to get donations and canning is standing on street corners with cans in fun outfits to collect money. The reason these practices were discontinued was for safety issues. Many were getting into car accidents and one student passed away in 2015 due to a car crash.

This practice has transformed into ribboning. According to the Ohana website, a THON organization, “Ribboners are only allowed to solicit at storefront locations. Dancing around, raising money for the kids, and spending the weekend bonding with Ohana makes for some amazing memories.”

Ohana and other organizations are allowed to do this during University sanction breaks. Specific people are chosen to travel around Pennsylvania to raise awareness about THON’s mission and pediatric cancer.

Strangers who donate receive a gold ribbon. The gold ribbon is the international symbol for childhood cancer. The American Childhood Cancer Organization says, “the gold ribbon is a symbol for all forms of cancer affecting children and adolescents.”

Many ribboning events have been held around State College and across Pennsylvania. At the end of the day, ribboning adds more to the final total.

Emily McGlynn is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email