A Special ‘Hug’ for Sunrise Campers

A Special ‘Hug’ for Sunrise Campers Photo
South Woods Middle School students recently created “Hug” necklaces for the children at Sunrise Day Camp, a place of refuge that welcomes pediatric cancer patients and their siblings free of charge. The Hug necklaces give campers the ability to “hug” each other when saying goodbye at the end of camp. Due to the campers’ medical issues and the need to protect them from infection, they often cannot physically hug their friends. The necklaces provide them with a way to “hug” each other by sharing pieces of their necklaces with their new friends.                        

At the beginning of the school year, the South Woods CARES Committee, a group of school staff members who coordinate service learning opportunities for students, held a walk-a-thon to benefit Sunrise Day Camp. Through an ongoing partnership with the organization, the committee brainstorms activities to benefit the campers and involve students and campers in hands-on projects. The South Woods Future Leaders of America Club and student council met with representatives from Sunrise Day Camp about the necklace initiative, then turn-keyed their expertise to teach other South Woods students how to make the necklaces during lunch periods, providing an opportunity for the larger student body to become involved. Over 100 necklaces were created.                    

“This project provided our students with an opportunity to understand how spending a few minutes of one's time can make a difference in the life of another person,” said South Woods CARES member Tracy Capece, who coordinated the effort with Sunrise Day Camp and teachers Jenn Seibert-Sessa and Jennifer Bunkley. “Not only did students give of their time to create these necklaces for the children at Sunrise Day Camp, they also worked cooperatively and took pride in the ‘hugs’ they created.”

Pictured are some students creating the necklaces.