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How College Students and Chefs are Revolutionizing Fundraising

lucas, food truck, fundraisers
Consider for a moment how awesome it is to purchase a new startup’s product or taste the creations of food trucks. Now imagine all the proceeds go to a remarkable cause.

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that the quickest way to my heart is probably through a well-crafted barbacoa taco. (Unless I’m feeling vegetarian – in which case it’s most definitely a deep-fried, balsamic-glazed tofu taco). Barring that, an exciting new product from a startup company might just do the trick.

Recently college students and chefs have been coming up with fundraising initiatives that speak right to the tech-obsessed foodie part of my soul.

College Students Raise Thousands for Wish Kid Aiden

Students at Kenan-Flagler Business School gave it their all in a “flash startup” competition, where they could combine their savvy marketing skills with interesting products to raise thousands of dollars to send wish kid Aiden to his favorite theme park.

This combination of youthful originality and a meaningful message was a remarkable success—one team raised over $6,000 for Aiden by creating a Facebook event targeted at selling, of all things, glow stick necklaces intended to be worn at an upcoming football game. The necklaces not only drew the community together because of a mutual love for the game, but more importantly they gave strangers the ability to show off their contribution to Aiden’s wish and join together in support of an ill child.

Food Truck Revolution

Among foodies and connoisseurs of all edible stripes, it is well known that the world is currently enjoying a food truck renaissance. Movies like Jon Favreau’s “Chef” have popularized the image of a passionate food artiste producing mouthwatering dishes on a dime, as well as contributed to the rapid materialization of countless artisan food trucks around corporate and college locations. The concept of high quality food in an adrenaline-infused community atmosphere is as irresistible as it is gastronomically satisfying.

While in high school, I had the opportunity to work in a food truck and see how such a small space could churn out so many delectable meals. My job was fairly easy, as all I had to do was scoop out already prepared ice cream and manage the payment counter. That morning navigating a tiny space and talking to customers gave me an appreciation for the finesse and flavor that food truck chefs weave together to be a success. It was an exhilarating experience, mostly because of how excited people got at the sight of all of the multi-colored vehicles peddling artisan food.

In Pennsylvania, 19 different food trucks will come together for the “Wish Upon a Food Truck Festival” to fundraise for Make-A-Wish. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this idea is genius. Who doesn’t want to attend an event based solely around the magnificence of delicious food? Not only that, but there will be live music and options ranging from stuffed pretzels to popcorn chicken in waffle cones. Yes, you read that right–crunchy chicken in a waffle cone. That’s a real thing, folks.

When fundraising can bring a community together and simultaneously give them moments to remember for the rest of their lives, then it is not only doing good for the wish kids who benefit from the proceeds but also for the thoughtful (i.e. hungry) individuals who have made it all possible. When it comes to donating to Make-A-Wish, more and more people are ascribing to the belief that you can have your chicken in a waffle cone and eat it, too. 

About this Blog

Wish Nation gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Make-A-Wish®. See how wishes come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or those who have been transformed by a wish. And learn why we are so committed to someday granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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