Stuffed With Hope

Members of Student Organization and Funded Groups stuffed animals for children in need

Campus Life > Stuffed With Hope
Stuffed With Hope

Students from Student Organization and Funded Groups packed the room for the Fuzzy Friends project

Caleb Lopez, Senior Editor

Student Organization and funded groups gathered together in Miron Student Center (MSC), room 228 for the Fuzzy Friends community service project on Friday, Oct. 27. This community service project was done in conjunction with Family Promise. 

Students of Student Organization and funded groups packed the MSC 228 for the Fuzzy Friends community service project. The purpose of Fuzzy Friends was to create stuffed animals for children in need. 

Kendra Clark, senior vice president of funded groups, oversaw the event. After dividing up the students according to the color on their given name tags, she informed the students about the list of activities that they would have to complete in order to assemble their stuffed animals.

The first activity was a relay. Each group had to complete the entire relay in order to pick out its stuffed animals. Members of each group had to form a human circle with their arms and move a hula hoop completely around. Next, one member from each group had to blow five plastic cups off the table. After all five cups were off the table, the groups had to pass a balloon along to their teammates using their legs. The final part of the relay was creating a paper airplane and flying it across a certain distance. Only then could the members of the teams obtain their stuffed animal.

For the second activity, the groups had to solve a sheet of riddles in order to get stuffing. The riddles were seemingly very simple as many groups were stuffing their animals almost immediately after the riddle activity began. 

The third activity was a game of charades. One member of each team had to hold up a phrase or title against their forehead and the rest of the team had to get that individual to guess correctly. However, no talking was allowed. Only gestures could be used to get the member to guess the student government and funded groups related positions and phrases. 

Completing this allowed the teams to obtain a voice box for their stuffed animals. With these voice boxes, the groups could record personalized, heartfelt messages for the children whom the stuffed animals were designated for.

The final activity involved the team members having to match descriptions with people in the room. The completion of this activity allowed the groups to fill out a birth certificate for their stuffed animals so that the children could know who crafted their stuffed animal and the name of their stuffed animal.

This set of activities that enhanced the stuffed animal assembly not only helped to provide toys for children in need, but it also served as a team-building exercise. Members of Student Organization and funded groups joined forces for an event that was larger than themselves. In doing that, they were able to meet new people and develop rapport with others that they may have known superficially before the event. 

According to Vice President of Bio-technology Club Crystiana Ceselka, sophomore math education major, who attended the event, The Fuzzy Friends community service project was a "great way to meet new people who you haven't seen before. It gives everyone ideas how to better each other's organizations."

"Personally, team building lays the foundation for better relationships with others from other organizations and student government. It's essentially fun networking," said student government representative Evan Wilson, sophomore math education major.

After the exciting time of assembling the stuffed animals, Amy Jones took the front of the room and spoke to the members of Student Organization and funded groups. As the Family Promise-Union County manager of volunteer engagement, Jones outlined the mission of Family Promise.

"[Family Promise's] philosophy is that families should be able to stay together during what is the most likely the most vulnerable time in their lives," Jones said. 

Family Promise is the leading non-profit organization that helps needy families experiencing homelessness across the nation. With many programs such as family wellness initiatives and financial literacy classes, Family Promise plays a crucial role in equipping individuals in need and approaching homelessness at its core.  

"The stuffed animals that [the Student Organization and funded groups members] made will support the children in our program presently being housed [as well as] the kids who were in our program, are in our program and will be in our program will all benefit from those stuffed animals," Jones mentioned, regarding how the stuffed animals would play a role in the lives of the children assisted by Family Promise-Union County. 

The stuffed animals help the children understand that there are people who care for them and take the time out to give them something personalized and special. These stuffed animals were not just stuffed with white fluff. What the Student Organization and funded groups members provided the children with was a stuffed animal stuffed with hope for children who really need it.


about the author

Caleb Lopez, Senior Editor
lopezcal@kean.edu

Caleb Lopez is the Senior Editor of The Cougar's Byte. Caleb joined the staff as a Staff Writer in May 2017. Currently in his junior year, Caleb is a psychology major with a minor in biology. In the rare moments when he is not vigorously studying, Caleb loves to spend his time indulging in sports, music and food—especially Chick-fil-a.