The UNC Dance Marathon raised almost $400 thousand for the North Carolina Children's Hospital this weekend. That's a great thing, right? Who would say otherwise?
Well, apparently, UNC-Chapel Hill junior John Mundell would. This sorry excuse for a Tar Heel wrote a letter to the editor in the Daily Tar Heel that chastised the Dance Marathon for not caring about homelessness. Umm, what? To Mundell it's unfair that all this money goes to kids in the hospital when the real problem in America is homelessness.
Sure, homelessness is an issue in our country and in the Chapel Hill area. There's no doubt that something should be done about it. But does that mean the Dance Marathon is wrong for raising a bunch of money for kids in a hospital? No.
Let's go ahead and knock some technicalities out of the way. The letter claims that the marathon is giving to "one of the richest hospitals in the country and not helping those who are unemployed, homeless, and without the health insurance." Sure, some of that money goes to the hospital, but a good part of that money goes to the families who can't afford to keep their kid in the hospital. If Mundell decided to do any research before shooting off his ignorant letter, he would have read this on the marathon website: "The fund provides for expenses not covered by insurance or Medicaid that families may not otherwise be able to afford."
It's obvious that Mundell has no experience with Dance Marathon and didn't even take the time to look into the charity to learn something about it before writing this letter. He didn't even get the slogan right ("For the Kids").
He has a point that there should be more focus on homelessness, but it makes no sense to belittle another charity event for raising a lot of money for a worthy cause. Start your own charity event!! Do a dance marathon for the homeless. Do whatever you want, but don't get mad at another successful charity. The marathon has worked from the ground up to become one of the largest events at UNC. The first year there were only 78 dancers, but since then -- because of hard work from dedicated people -- the marathon has raised a total of more than $2 million over 11 years.
But wait, it gets better. The second paragraph of the letter contains this little gem:
"To be honest, I'm thrilled that DM is finally done this year because I'm sick (almost as much as one of the actually sick children) of hearing, 'Do it for the kids!'"You read right. Mundell compared his situation to a sick child in the hospital. Regardless of what you believe, the fact that he compared his "plight" to that of a child who spends months or years in a hospital is heartless and absurd.
Not only that, but what he's saying is ridiculous. It's like saying "Man, I'm so tired of those pink ribbons!! Why do people care so much about breast cancer?"
Mundell repeatedly says that "homeless" doesn't have the same ring as "sick kid." Maybe not, but they're both worthy causes, and if he really cared about homelessness, he would do something more than sending in an ignorant and inconsiderate letter to the Daily Tar Heel.