What better way to promote the donation of clothing than to run around half naked? This week at the University of Redlands, the second annual Undie Run was organized on campus in order to collect clothing donations to go to a local non-profit organization called “Youth Hope.” Last year was the university’s first time having this event in which only four people showed up. This year, more than fifty students came to donate and run, according to an ASUR helper who was checking people in.
The event was organized by ASUR Social Affairs and had two parts, the first being on the Chapel steps, in which students checked in and dropped off their clothing; the next being the end point of the run, the Admin Building steps. The Admin Building was brightly lit up with colorful lights, premiered a tall arch of maroon and silver balloons, and offered free food, games, tie-dying, and a large variety of drinks.
Youth Hope, the organization that clothing donations went to, is a non-profit in Redlands aiming to “build confidence and promote self-sufficiency for homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth ages 14-24.” At the check-in on the Chapel steps, I spoke with Carolina Barbosa, a Senior Director at ASUR Social Affairs. “It’s a win for both aspects,” Carolina stated. “You’re helping others but you’re also doing something fun.” This perspective turned out to be a theme amongst participants, as the event truly appealed to both a humanitarian cause as well as fun.
On the opposite side of the run at the Admin building, I met with MacKenzie Mills, the main director of the event as well as another Senior Director for ASUR. “We’ve amped it up a lot.” MacKenzie said in regards to last year’s turnout, which was evident in the free energy drinks supplied by Rockstar and the overall grand appearance.
When considering the name “Undie Run” of course there is humor to such an event. “I just felt like I needed to get out and run around in my underwear,” Quinn Orr stated when asked why she decided to run. “I think clothes are a prison,” is what Eliza Martinez mentioned.
Aside from the humor, perhaps Undie Run served to not only give back to the community, but it served to give back to the soul for many students. “Firstly, it’s a charitable event … but it was also kind of like self growth,” junior Donald Johnson remarked when asked why he participated. Other students when asked described the event as “liberating.”
From the colorful planning to the generous giving, Undie Run served as a fun midweek escape to give students a chance to not only fuel their charitable desires but also to give a good reason to run around in their underwear.
Illustration by Kyle Eaton.