A group of students who participated in Genesee Community College and College Village's "RESPECT" Campaign gathered on Tuesday, March 28th to share another positive and uplifting program. The student organization, which is dedicated to promoting and creating a more respectful environment, adopted a "Make a Child Smile" initiative and hosted a "Card Making Session" where more than 28 different personal greeting cards were handmade for three of this month's featured children who are part of the nationally renowned "Make A Child Smile" organization.
The "Make A Child Smile" organization (MACS) provides emotional and financial support to families whose children suffer from chronic or life-threatening illnesses. Each month, new children are featured on the MACS website with a picture and short biography. Hundreds of schools, service organizations, girl and boy scouts, and church groups use the MACS site as a philanthropic project where they can send cards, letters and small gifts to the featured children and their siblings through postal mail. (www.makeachildsmile.org)
"When our students learned about the "Make a Child Smile" program they were immediately enthusiastic about adopting the program and extending their creative efforts to support these children," said Ellen Brokaw, assistant director of Residence Life at College Village, and one of the advisors to the RESPECT Campaign. "It was very heart warming to see students and staff from a wide spectrum of academic programs, countries, and age groups sharing markers, scissors, paste, glitter paper, and other artistic tools to make their own special contribution. We all agreed that the more people who know about 'Make A Child Smile' website the better-we can help the kids and their families who are affected by these illnesses. We can't take the illnesses away from these children, but we can brighten their day!"
The "Make A Child Smile" initiative will continue in April with another card making session that will be open to the public. In addition, The RESPECT Campaign has had other special events and opportunities for the College constituency, where students and faculty of different cultures, races, religions, as well as the different genders and various levels of authority gather for common causes that help build a dynamic rapport with one another.
Other activities have included Community Service Days to clean up the campus grounds, installing a RESPECT Wall recognizing positive behavior, the Holiday Food Drive, collecting for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and the continuing "Smiley Patrol," which nominates and recognizes different people around campus who go "above and beyond" in their efforts to display outstanding, respectful behavior.
"These events and initiatives not only instill an overall respectful atmosphere in the College," Joanna Barefoot, assistant director of Student Activities said, "but by working together toward a common goal and by acknowledging some of the good things people do, we are creating friendships and letting people learn about shared concerns, our local community, personal issues or even world events."
For further information about the RESPECT Campaign please contact Ellen Brokaw at 343-0163 or Joanna Barefoot at 343-0055 x6261. Volunteers and contributions from the general community are warmly welcomed.
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Editor's Note: Several photographs from Tuesday's card making session are available. The first shot is of the card making group in the Student Union located at: http://marketing.genesee.edu/images/child_smile_group.jpg
And a second image is of Yu Karasaki, a Genesee student showing the two cards she made for Madeleine and Cadence, two of this month's featured children in a "Make A Child Smile" website: http://marketing.genesee.edu/images/child_smile1.jpg.
Others images are also available by calling Donna Rae Sutherland, 343-0055 x6616.