SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — When Syracuse University sent students home during the 2020 spring semester due to COVID-19, sophomore Jack Adler and his twin sister Kate were trying to think of ways they could help.
“We knew that everyone in the world was fighting, struggling, whether it was fighting on the front lines to save lives or struggling with COVID and had families struggling, so we decided we wanted to do something while we were lucky enough to be safe in our homes,” Jack said.
That’s when the idea for the “3 Dollar Challenge” was born from these two Generation Z students who have a passion for philanthropy and entrepreneurship.
Jack and Kate decided to use the power of social media for good and were shocked at how fast the challenge gained traction on Instagram.
“We asked just at first all of our closest friends to donate three dollars, post a picture to their Instagram story nominating three other people to do the same and that turned into their three friends who we didn’t know posting, tagging three more friends that posted, tagging their three friends and within 24 hours we raised over $10,000,” Jack said.
Within a few short weeks, the “3 Dollar Challenge” had raised over $20,000 for COVID-19 relief funds and soon caught the attention of Jared Fenton, founder of The Reflect Organization.
The Reflect Organization is a national mental wellness nonprofit that is dedicated to empowering students to foster a culture of authenticity, self-love, and allyship on college campuses. Therefore, when Fenton saw that two college students were spearheading a social media campaign aimed at other college students, he knew he had to get involved.
“On our website, it says on the home page we believe in the power of college students to be transformative and who are Jack and Kate if not transformative college students,” Fenton said.
When Fenton reached out to collaborate with the “3 Dollar Challenge,” Jack and Kate were eager to get involved as so many of their peers in college struggle with mental health.
“This time more than ever was a time when people needed the help, the awareness needed to be spread because people weren’t really talking about it even though it was a huge prevalent issue amongst our generation,” Jack said.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 25% of 18 to 24-year-olds have experienced serious thoughts of suicide since the beginning of the pandemic.
With a goal of raising $75,000 to benefit college students and young adult’s mental wellness across the country, the campaign was launched with 100% of the proceeds going to The Reflect Organization.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the “3 Dollar Challenge” has raised $8,155 for The Reflect Organization and all donations will be matched by an anonymous donor until Dec. 31, 2020.