This month, helping to cure cancer can be as simple as saying “keep the change.”
The U campus store is asking customers to round purchases up to the nearest dollar and is donating the surplus to cancer research.
Cameron Beck, marketing manager for the store, said the initiative has already been successful at getting contributions.
“It’s amazing how much small things can help in the long run. It doesn’t seem like a lot, a dime or nickel that goes into the jar, but it adds up,” Beck said. “We’re just trying to do our part to sponsor on-campus organizations.”
This month the store collaborated with ASUU’s Rock the U program, a student-led philanthropy. Rock the U has raised more than $400,000 for cancer research since it began in 2006. The organization’s donations go to the Children’s Miracle Network, a North American non-profit headquartered in Salt Lake City, and the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
The roundup program donates to a different fund or organization each month; other organizations include the general scholarship fund, the Utah Food Bank, the Ute scholarship endowment fund and the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Beck said the campus store tries to coordinate with other campaigns or current events when deciding on a month’s charity. They donate to the scholarship funds prior to the beginning of semesters when money is most needed and to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in October in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month.
The program began in early 2015 when the store was going through reconstruction and starting new initiatives.
“During remodeling, customers would leave us change as tips. We don’t actually accept tips, but realized we could collect these small amounts and do good with it,” Beck said. “It’s a way of really giving back to the U and helping our customers do that.”
Beck said inspiration for the program also came from Ronald McDonald House Charities, which use small contributions to positively impact communities across the world. Beck hopes students can recognize that everyone can contribute to making campus and the community a better place.
Amy Davis, a junior in marketing, hadn’t heard of the store’s campaign.
“Honestly, when stores ask me to donate to something I usually just say ‘not today.’ I don’t really even think about it,” Davis said. “But this sounds like a really good way to contribute. If I have to buy something I’m definitely going to do it.”