BYU students can join people worldwide in wearing their favorite jerseys to become united in the fight against world hunger on Friday, Sept. 30.
World Jersey Day is a celebratory fundraising event launched last year by BYU alumnus Kib Jensen, a sports enthusiast with the desire to help others on a worldwide scale.
“We want to unite the world, and hunger is something that a lot of people can relate to,” Jensen said. “We want to get people involved and excited about fighting the cause.
World Jersey Day will take place on Sept. 30 every year. Jensen said the goal for the charity in the next couple years is to raise $30 million for food and for education on world hunger. To help the cause, people are invited to donate $5, perform random acts of service and spread the word on social media.
This year’s celebration is taking place on the same day as the BYU vs. University of Toledo football game. Jensen is encouraging members of the BYU community to wear their favorite jersey to support the fight against world hunger and add to the fun atmosphere of a sporting event.
“It’s amazing to know that a difference is being made and I feel happier when I see students get excited and involved in a good cause,” Jensen said.
Mackenzie Vesp, a BYU student interning for the World Jersey Day Foundation, works with various media outlets and spreads the values of the foundation through social media.
“I want to help out as much as I can,” Vesp said. “Sometimes you feel like you’re just one person or you think, ‘What is one company going to do?’ But if we just take a step back, we can see that every little bit counts.”
Vesp said she was inspired to fight the cause of world hunger after her mother, an elementary school teacher, explained how some children struggled with hunger and would show up to school without a lunch.
“I was never affected personally by world hunger,” Vesp said. “But I have seen it in my life.”
Rachelle Halterman, former intern for World Jersey Day, is originally from Ethiopia and personally experienced the hardships of hunger.
“I grew up in poverty. We didn’t have anything to eat most days,” Halterman said. “I know how people who live in poverty feel and how people who go without food feel.”
Halterman said she credits her desire to get involved with World Jersey Day to the values it stands for and the cause it supports.
“I want more people to get involved,” Halterman said. “Helping us spread the word would be the best thing for others to do.”
Jensen said everyone can choose to make a difference whether it be to donate, serve or share.
“I believe that was what social media was created for,” Jensen said, “for sharing something good and using it as a vehicle to help and encourage others to do the same.”
Visit the World Jersey Day website to make donations or for more information on the event.