UMHB has several organizations that students can get involved with. Heart of Gold is one of these organizations, and it has a unique mission. Members of this group work together with students and members of the community to raise money for McLane Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Heart of Gold raises most of their money at their annual Dance Marathon, but they also hold several other small events throughout the school year to raise money for these organizations.
Senior elementary education major Bria Garner is the co-president of the organization. She gave a brief history of Heart of Gold and how it began.
“Heart of Gold was started when a girl named Taylor Helland was diagnosed with cancer her senior year of high school,” she said. “Luckily, she had treatment and was declared cancer-free before she went to school at TCU.”
A few years later, Helland’s cancer returned, but she was determined to reach out to other people who were having similar experiences.
“She knew that she was not the only one that was going through something like this, and she made it her mission to bring joy to other children who were going through something similar to her,” Garner stated.
Helland started Dance Marathon at Texas Christian University, an exciting event created to raise money for children with pediatric illnesses. Unfortunately, she lost her battle to cancer the week before the event. Here at UMHB, a few of her close friends wanted to honor all of her hard work, so they founded Heart of Gold.
“All of her friends have now graduated, but Dance Marathon continues to be an event that brings them together either here or at TCU,” Garner said.
Dance Marathon is held on college campuses all across the United States to fundraise for local children’s hospitals. On Friday, March 22, Heart of Gold will host their annual Dance Marathon on the third floor of Bawcom Student Union from 5 to 10 p.m. Students and members of the local community are welcome to come and enjoy food, carnival games, dancing, door prizes and trivia alongside young patients from McLane Children’s Hospital. Admittance is only $15, which includes a Dance Marathon T-shirt. If you wish to attend, you can register at www.events.dancemarathon.com or in person at the event. The main purpose of Dance Marathon is to raise money for McLane Children’s Hospital. This year, Heart of Gold has set a fundraising goal of $10,000.
Other events held by Heart of Gold have included bake sales, hospital visits and gift-themed fundraisers. Members have also participated in various service projects. This year, they have made blankets for patients, played with children at the hospital and volunteered at the Ronald McDonald house, where families of patients can stay while their child receives treatment.
Another member of Heart of Gold, Sierra Moody, joined the organization as a way to give back. “I chose to become part of Heart of Gold because I wanted an opportunity to serve my community,” she said. “I plan on going into the medical field and have a heart for sick children.”
If you have a passion for helping children in your community, consider joining Heart of Gold to help bring joy to children in need. For more information, check out @UMHBHeartofGold.