Save it or shave it? PLU students raise money for children without healthcare in Tacoma

-First published on Lute Times

Anderson University Center buzzed with hoards of students March 15. Excited chatter filled the AUC while the crowd awaited the fate of their friends’ hair.

Hair was on the line during the annual “Save it or Shave it” fundraiser that has become a tradition at Pacific Lutheran University.

The PLU club Progress organizes a campaign each year that fundraises money for children in Tacoma whose families can’t afford healthcare.

The fundraiser for the Free Care Fund at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital typically raises thousands of dollars each year, and this year was no exception.

Last year the club raised $6,000. The members hope to, “advocate and raise awareness about the healthcare system and issues in U.S. healthcare,” according to their website.

The Progress club Co-President Bryan Dahms created a Facebook page for his wife Jordan who also participated this year.

“I won’t pretend to be neutral; donate to save my wife’s hair,” Dahms wrote in the description.

Typically how it works is each student sets a fundraising goal and people donate money to save or shave the volunteer’s hair.

Hair is a powerful incentive for many. One participant, Ella Andersen, said, “People are more inclined to give money if they can see results.”

Andersen, a Norwegian PLU student, is one of the few who had more money in her “shave it” jar.

Teammate and Ultimate Frisbee Team Captain, Maggie Mickelson, shaved Andersons head in the AUC.

Kristin Hayes ’15 Also had her head shaved. Unlike other participants, she was excited at the prospect of shaving her head.

In anticipation of shaving it off, she dyed her hair purple the week before.

“I was inspired by my friend who participated last year,” Hays said. “I think it’s a good way to motivate people to give money to children, and it brings the PLU and Tacoma community together.”

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