The Pinky Swear PACK at Minnesota State University, Mankato is a student-led organization that is taking a stand to support children fighting cancer as well as aid their families financially.
Their mission as a PACK at MNSU is to raise money through fundraiser events and food drives while also raising awareness of childhood cancer.
This is the first year this organization has been at MNSU as they started in August of 2020.
The Pinky Swear Foundation itself is a larger non-profit organization based in Minneapolis that helps children battling cancer and provide their families with direct financial aid for basic needs.
Olivia Lindenfelser, junior and president of the Pinky Swear PACK at MNSU, said she joined the group to help children.
“I wanted to be a part of PACK to help make a difference in the lives of children battling cancer and their families,” she said. “I also wanted to help raise awareness about the Pinky Swear Foundation and childhood cancer.”
Although COVID-19 has limited the amount of fundraiser events this school year, that didn’t stop the Pinky Swear PACK from raising money in alternative ways.
“Even though we’ve been limited to what we can do because of COVID, my favorite memory would have to be the Trunk-or-Treat event we did in the fall semester,” said senior Ali Bryniarski, a member of Pinky Swear PACK. “It was really cold outside but it was fun to start getting to know the other members in the Pack.”
Some previous fundraisers included partnering with Chipotle and Noodles for events that directed a portion of sales to the Pinky Swear PACK Foundation. Their most recent fundraiser was the “It Takes Two” event which asked people to donate $2 or more that went directly to the Pinky Swear Foundation.
Continuing to grow in numbers, the PACK is just getting started as they hope other students will join them in the coming years.
“Other students should join the Pinky Swear Pack because of the mission to help children and their families going through cancer,” said Alivia Ploeckelman, a sophomore member of the Pinky Swear PACK. “A cancer diagnosis is hard for not only the child, but the family as a whole.”
The Pinky Swear PACK food drive is being held now through April 23. They are accepting non-perishable food items such as canned goods. The main donation box is located in the Centennial Student Union building near Jazzman’s cafe.
All the donations from the food drive will go directly to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.