By Megan Turner
Members of UNC Dance Marathon tell Whole Foods' patrons about the organization's mission.
The Whole Foods Percentage Day held Nov. 30, 2011, was an important day for UNC Dance Marathon as it helped the organization spread its message throughout the community.
Whole Foods organizes five percent days or community giving days several times each year to help its team members reach out to the local community. At the end of the day, Whole Foods donates five percent of net sales to local nonprofits or educational organizations.
Organizations apply to be recognized. Whole Foods then holds special meetings to determine which organization should be rewarded with a five percent day. Each Whole Foods team member votes for his top four organizations.
This year, Whole Foods of Chapel Hill recognized UNC-DM for the first time.
Wendy Geise, Whole Foods’ Marketing Team Leader, said UNC-DM was selected because of its impact in the community.
“UNC-DM is a huge asset to so many in the Chapel Hill community and beyond. Thousands of children’s lives are impacted through their work to provide assistance to patients and their families,” Geise said.
She added that UNC-DM complements Whole Foods.
“UNC-DM is a good fit for Whole Foods to support as it is student-run, encourages involvement, fitness through dance and open to all,” Geise said.
The Overall Committee applied and representatives from Whole Foods came to UNC and filmed the OC’s competition video in front of the Old Well. The OC sang the song “What I Like About You,” by the Romantics, replacing its lyrics with that of their own. They also read a For the Kids story with illustrated flashcards.
“I think our energy and excitement for such an awesome cause is what won them over,” said Olivia Barrow, Publicity committee chair.
During time leading up to the percentage day, the OC spent time in Whole Foods telling patrons about UNC-DM’s purpose. Val Hansen, Outreach committee chair, says this was one of the reasons the day was a success.
“Opportunities like this allow us to foster support for the patients and families at the hospital in every way, and we’re so glad we had a chance to take part in this program,” Hansen said.
Barrow also said the percentage day was successful.
“We’ve never had an opportunity like that before, so we’re really excited because the success of the day will translate into an increase in how many patients and families we can impact in more ways next year at N.C. Children’s Hospital,” she said.
Anna Volz, Morale committee sub-chair, believes the day was successful because the community was able to conveniently support UNC-DM.
“I think it was so successful because it was a way for people to help without having to make a lot of effort since many people who ended up helping us out were just doing their normal shopping,” she said.
The day was also an important opportunity to communicate the UNC-DM message to the community.
“I think that the Whole Foods Percentage Day was important because it not only raised awareness about UNC-DM and the cause, but it also was a way to connect UNC-DM with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community, which is crucial for the marathon’s success,” Volz said.
Hansen added that the mission of UNC-DM couldn’t be accomplished without community support.
“We are able to help families from all over North Carolina, but we couldn’t do so without support from the Chapel Hill community and other communities across the state,” Hansen said.