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Why should you buy a tag from a U-M medical student this week? Here are 11 great reasons

Annual Galens Tag Days fundraiser for children’s causes coming Dec. 3-5

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — This Thursday through Saturday, nearly 200 University of Michigan Medical School students will hit the streets of Ann Arbor, and the halls of the U-M Health System’s hospitals and clinics, to collect money for a great cause.

It’s the annual Tag Days fundraiser run by the Galens Medical Society, a nonprofit organization for U-M medical students.

From the early morning of Thursday, Dec. 3 through the evening of Saturday, Dec. 5, they’ll collect donations for charities that help children – including programs at U-M’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

Here are 11 reasons to support this annual effort:


Galens tag

1.    Those fashionable tags

Everyone who drops money in a student’s bucket, whether it’s a dime or a hundred-dollar bill, gets a paper-and-string tag to tie to their coat or bag and show that they’ve given. Or, give online at and post a virtual tag to your social media profile.

2.    An 89-year tradition

The first weekend of December has been Galens Tag Days in Ann Arbor since 1927. Neither rain, nor snow nor sleet have kept the students from their appointed rounds.

3.    Every penny for kids

Last year, the grand total raised in just three days topped $75,000 – including more than $1,600 in coins! They focus on giving to causes that aid children in Washtenaw County who are under-served, at-risk, hospitalized, or diagnosed with a chronic medical or mental health condition.

4.    Midnight Madness!
Tag Days 2014 group

Getting your holiday shopping done at Midnight Madness in downtown Ann Arbor? Watch for med students bearing buckets.

For many Ann Arborites, this downtown holiday shopping event isn’t complete without a Galens tag. Whatever the weather, the students will be out until midnight along Main Street collecting donations.

Alex - the 2015 Galens poster child

Alex turns 7 next week.

5.    Helping kids like Alex

The fun-loving six-year-old future scientist is this year’s Galens Poster Child and a cystic fibrosis patient at Mott. Read more about him at

6.    Easy-to-spot red ponchos

No white coats for these future doctors on Tag Days – just flaming red ponchos and metal buckets. Plus optional holiday wear. Or four layers of clothing for those chilly outdoor shifts. 

7.    A fun new video! 

Hear more from students about why Tag Days mean so much, and get in a giving mood. 

8.    The professors get in on the act

Faculty doctors provide vital hot cocoa transfusions and other support throughout Tag Days.

9.    A happening hashtag

Use #tagdays on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to share Tag Days selfies, encourage others to donate, or just join in the fun, no matter where you are.

10.    Local businesses help too

Free food for Tag Days volunteers, and special deals to help their customers donate, also support the cause. Check the Facebook page for more: 

11.    Ancient Greeks would approve

Galen by Robert Thom


The Galens society carries the name of Galen of Pergamon, a physician and philosopher who wrote the book (or rather, the scroll) on anatomy in the mid-Second Century A.D. If he were around today, he’d probably ask his boss, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, to donate during Tag Days.

Learn more and give online:

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