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CreateAthon@UofSC is suspended for 2020.


Like handshakes and hugs, and so many other simple activities we took for granted before the coronavirus pandemic, we will sorely miss CreateAthon@UofSC this year.

It’s an all-volunteer, pro bono effort that benefits everyone involved: Advancing the causes of deserving nonprofits, ramping up student skills, and bringing professional mentors and students together in an experience that is intense, challenging, rewarding — and fun. Read more about how we do all this.

For the past seven years, our students and volunteer mentors have given every ounce of their talent for 24+ hours, creating pro bono work for more than 50 South Carolina nonprofits. That’s a lot of good. Just ask any of the nonprofits we helped, and see highlights of the creative work from past years. 

It’s heartbreaking to be unable to serve the nonprofit community this year, and to be unable to host this amazing experience for students and friends. But there are too many unknowns, and too many vulnerable volunteers, to mount an event that brings 100 people into the SJMC to roll up their sleeves, work side by side, and give up a night’s sleep to do good.

For about five minutes, we thought about hosting it virtually, but it just wouldn’t be the same. It’s hard for strangers to become a team without being on the same field. (Ask any sports coach.) Especially for students.

Part of what generates so much great work is the pressure-cooker environment, the camaraderie of so many teams collaborating face-to-face as one — and tossing in some friendly intra-mural competition. There’s magic in a marathon — an energy that feeds and fuels and cannot be replicated remotely or in small, socially distanced groups. (How much yelling do you hear in an empty stadium?)

Nonprofits who’ve applied for 2020 will be invited to reapply for 2021. Students and mentors, please don’t forget we’ll be looking for y'all very soon.

We’re committed to come back stronger — and bigger than ever — next year. You in?

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.