If you hurried past Ben Brown a week ago on Thursday morning, you might have noticed a large table in the back of the plaza covered with a yellow table cloth, laden with sparkling necklaces and smiley face stickers. Two girls would have been hanging up a chalkboard paper banner that said, “With Purpose.”
With Purpose is a nonprofit organization that is currently researching safe and effective cures for children with cancer. Launched in 2014, the nonprofit is interested in getting America’s youth and young adults involved in advocating for pediatric cancer research. Only about 4 percent of government funding is given to study cures for childhood cancer, leaving about 96 percent for adult research. The girls that surrounded the table on Wednesday are competing in the Bateman PR Campaign through the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and are representing With Purpose from Feb. 15 to March 15.
When asked about the smiley face stickers, Hannah Jones, a journalism and mass communications major with a PR concentration, explained that the founder of With Purpose lost her son to childhood cancer, and that just before he passed he said, “I am happy.”
“To bring awareness, we wanted to make sure that our campaign was all about happiness, and so we are passing out the smiley face stickers to help people remember (him),” said Jones.
Another part of the girls’ campaign is centered on selling necklaces made by Mary Kathryn Design. They are $35, but 50 percent of the proceeds go to fund With Purpose.
“So, you get fashion, and you’re also helping a good cause. Carrie Underwood has worn (Mary Kathryn Design’s) necklaces, and Sadie Robertson has worn her necklaces and so it’s really cool that she partnered with us,” said Jones.
The campaign is going well, according to Jones.
“We added Magic City to our name to represent Birmingham, but also because out tagline is ‘bringing magic to childhood cancer research,’” she said.
The girls have made an Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook page devoted to With Purpose: Magic City to spread awareness about childhood cancer through the internet. They invite everyone to follow @WithPurposeMagicCity, and to look for them on ABC 33/40 on March 1.
Mckenzi Marlow, Features Writer
[Photo courtesy of Hannah Hutson]