Pause for a Cause

Pause for a Cause Substance-Free Challenge

Replace a habit with a passion for giving. Press pause on alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine and donate the money you save to a worthy cause. Take a break to feel like yourself again. Instead of burning money, fuel social change.

Challenge yourself for one day, one week, or one month. Calculate your typical spending on alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine and donate that amount to your favorite philanthropy, while you pledge to go without.

Test yourself, join the challenge

The challenge starts Thursday, April 1, 2021

Step 1: Choose

Choose your substance and challenge period. Are you giving up nicotine for a day? Caffeine for a week? It’s also time to choose a worthy cause to receive the money you would have spent on substances. Donate to any cause or organization that you want. If you’re looking for ideas, we have some IUPUI funds highlighted below.

Step 2: Calculate

Calculate your typical spending. Rather than pulling a number out of the air, do some quick math to determine how much you actually spend per day, week, or month. Send that money to a better place and make your donation.

Step 3: Complete

Feeling confident? Keep yourself accountable by including your friends and family. Track your progress on your own or with our Tips and Tracking sheet. Tell us how you did and complete the evaluation when your challenge period is over.

Health and Wellness Promotion Fund

A donation to this fund supports the Office of Health and Wellness Promotion, which coordinates IUPUI’s addiction recovery support program for students.

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Paws’ Pantry Support Fund

A donation to Paws’ Pantry will support basic needs for students, such as providing food and hygiene products to students struggling to feed themselves and their families.

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IUPUI Student Emergency Relief Fund

Supports scholarships for students pursuing a degree at IUPUI who have unmet financial need, have encountered unforeseen financial hardships, and would not be able to continue without financial support.

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Tips and tracking sheet

Make your goal stick by being specific

Are you giving up coffee for a week, or all forms of caffeine? When you set your goal, you should also set very clear criteria for what constitutes success (or failure). One way to help make your goal stick is to physically write it down. Seeing your goal in writing helps to set your intention, taking it from something you could do to something you will do.

Out of sight, out of mind

Behavior isn’t all about motivation and willpower. Cues from the physical environment influence our actions. Studies show that putting fruits and vegetables at eye level in a school cafeteria can increase consumption. You can use this same trick to your advantage by stocking healthy alternatives within arm’s reach, and hiding the things you want to avoid under a sink or in the back of a closet.

Plan ahead to outsmart yourself

You just happen to be the world’s leading expert on yourself, and you probably have some idea about how and when you are likely to stumble. Put up guard rails to prevent yourself from steering off course. Make a list of the most likely setbacks and the strategy or backup plan for each one.

Use peer pressure to your advantage

Tap into positive social pressure by sharing your goal publicly, post about it on social media, and find your accountability buddy. It’s also a good idea to let your friends know about your goal ahead of time so they don’t accidentally tempt or pressure you. Why not recruit others to donate to a worthy cause by joining the challenge themselves?