Why Students Do or Do Not THON

Story posted February 20, 2020 in News, CommRadio by Andre Magaro

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State students across campus are eagerly anticipating the beginning of THON 2020. However, despite being the world’s largest student-run philanthropy, with about 16,500 student volunteers a year, not every student elects to be a part of THON.

Whether it’s more time towards classes, other clubs or just a personal preference, THON is not for everyone. However, that does not mean THON goes unrecognized by those who don’t get involved directly.

Senior Mitchell McKinney has never been a part of THON in his time at Penn State.

“Just a little bit too busy,” McKinney said. “Looking for jobs, I have other extracurriculars, engineering is quite the workload.”

Still, McKinney admires the work done by THON and Four Diamonds to raise money to cure pediatric cancer.

“It’s obviously a very worthwhile goal,” McKinney said. “I’d like to do more if I could, it’s just never happened for me.”

On the other hand, those who do participate in THON are made up of a various array of stories.

Sophomore Rachel Rubin was drawn to THON upon her first visit to Penn State.

“When I toured Penn State’s campus, everybody always talked about THON,” Rubin said. “So, I looked into it and I found the organization L.E.V, which I’m [now] apart of.”

After joining L.E.V, Rubin quickly drew a connection with her new organization.

“I fell in love with my THON family,” Rubin said. “It was just super fun.”

Jack O’Connell, another sophomore, was moved enough from his initial THON experience to return this year. O’Connell’s organization had a THON family of a child named Kareem. Though O’Connell never met Kareem, the young boy’s battle, along with his loved ones, inspired O’Connell’s passion towards THON.

“Just to see that level of appreciation from people who have endured such a tough loss,” O’Connell said. It’s something that inspires me to keep going.”

Regardless if individuals choose to volunteer for THON or not, the philanthropy has certainly left its impact on the student body at Penn State, and looks to continue making that impact this weekend.

Andre Magaro is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email ajm7362@psu.edu.