Month: April 2018
Passive Program of the Month
In My Shoes
||University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
|Person in charge:
|Target Population: 500
||Time Needed to Organize: 30 days|
|Number of People in Attendance: 500
||Date(s) of Program: April 11, 2018|
|Number of People Needed to Organize: 1
||Cost of Program: $0|
|On-Campus Population: 4200
||Chapter Size: 42|
|Origin of Program:|
The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Student Housing
Administrative Council, known by other schools as Residence Hall
Association, hosts Mental Health Week one time a year.
This week is one that University Housing holds near and dear to our
hearts. After several studies and surveys, we have found here in
University Housing that 38% of our students have felt so depressed
that it was difficult to function, 58% of students experienced
overwhelming anxiety, and 8% have had thoughts of suicide.
Because mental health impacts so many of our students on campus,
National Residence Hall Honorary Associate Director of Philanthropy
Danesha Bonds began planning a mental health week event that would
not only showcase the importance of mental health, but also work to
break the stigmas that surround the topic.
Because service work and volunteering is something that National
Residence Hall Honorary focuses so greatly on, Danesha wanted this
event to be something even more than your ordinary mental health
event. Ultimately, she successfully hosted an event that worked to
normalize mental health within college age students while performing
a large-scale good deed for those in need.
Word Count: 186
|Please give a short description of the program:|
The passive program that Danesha planned for NRHH to put on began
at the beginning of March with an NRHH sponsored Shoe Drive. In
each of our residence hall buildings, there was a shoe donation
box placed to collect salvageable used shoes from students that no
longer wore them.
The shoe drive ran from the first week of March to the first week
of April. At the end of the shoe drive, on April 10th, Danesha and
the other members of the National Residence Hall Honorary
Executive Board gathered all of the shoes to be sanitized and
deodorized to prepare for the grand event. During this process,
the Executive Board Members counted out nearly 100 pairs of shoes
that had been donated during the shoe drive!
During the time of the shoe drive, NRHH opened an online form for
residents, asking willing participants to submit their mental
health stories anonymously to be used for a Mental Health Week
Danesha then took the mental health stories and had them placed
onto posters - one story per poster. She also printed off large
posters the explained what the In My Shoes event was all about and
asked that residents respectfully experience the event without
The day of the event, April 11th, came around and the NRHH
Executive Board gathered to set up the In My Shoes event. They
took every pair of shoes donated during the shoe drive and
arranged them in such a way that lined the lobby halls of Sandburg
Residence Hall and Cambridge Commons - the residence halls on our
campus with the largest student populations, housing approximately
4,000 residents between the two buildings.
Placed above each pair of shoes was a poster displaying an
anonymously submitted mental health story. These stories contained
experiences from different people ranging from their struggles
with depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, and even
suicidal ideation. Students bypassing the event were to read the
stories associated with each pair of shoes recognizing that every
person has a different story, mental health can affect anyone and
the prevalence within our community needs to be recognized so that
we can crack the stigmas surrounding mental health and being
outlining the resources that we have for individuals who may be
struggling with these problems.
Following this event, every pair of shoes was donated to a local
shelter for those in need.
Word Count: 397
|Goals of the program:|
There were several outstanding goals set by Danesha and the rest
of the NRHH Executive Board surrounding this event. They included:
- Receiving enough shoes during the shoe drive to create a lasting
impact on the individuals experiencing the event. One or two pairs
was not going to be significant enough.
- Getting the word out to students about how prevalent these
mental health problems are on our campus. If students are
educated, they are more likely to speak up and do something about
- Cracking the stigma and normalizing mental health within our
communities.By normalizing these problems, people are less likely
to hold in their dark thoughts.
- Provide the necessary resources to our students here on campus.
By giving them the tools, they are already one step closer to
utilizing them. There are so many great resources on our campus
that students simply are not educated on, therefore they are not
being properly utilized.
- Make a difference in the lives of those in need through
charitable donation. In this case, gather enough shoes to provide
for those who are in need at our local Milwaukee based charities.
Word Count: 193
|Positive and lasting effects of the program:|
Each of the goals that I described previously that were set in
place for this event were successfully achieved. The impact made
by each of them is as follows:
- Approximately 100 shoes total were donated for the use of this
event. Each and every one of those were then given to those in
need within the Greater Milwaukee Area. The donation center was
overwhelmed with how large of a donation NRHH was providing them
with - as they have been in dire need of shoe donations.
- Students bypassing the event were stopping. They were reading
the stories posted in all of their detail. Students coped with
this experience in different ways. Some smiled knowing that
something was being said about the grand mental health epidemic.
Others shed tears as they felt the pain that some of the anonymous
readings described. The event was WORKING.
- The large number of shoes created a great visual representation
of how many people are impacted by mental health concerns. The
shoes lined the halls toe to toe and this made such a lasting
impact on each and every individual walking past that noticed the
shoes or posted stories on the walls.
Word Count: 200
|Short evaluation of the program:|
As a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary Panther
Chapter Executive Board, I am blown away with the breathtaking
impact that my colleague Danesha has made within our residence
hall communities. Through doing this event, the students that live
on campus established a greater understanding of the signs and
symptoms associated with mental health, how prevalent these
problems are at a campus as large as ours, and they also left with
the knowledge necessary to crack the stigmas surrounding mental
Seeing the mind blowing numbers of shoes that Danesha was capable
of collecting in the short amount of time provided was something
that deserves recognition in itself. Within one month, Danesha
created an event that is likely to become a Mental Health Week
tradition. Students were participating, faculty members stopped in
awe with the impact that this event could potentially make on so
many people. In conclusion, this event is one that can not go
without recognition. Too many lives were changed for it to go
Word Count: 170
|How could this program be adapted to other campuses?|
All that you would need to do on another campus to put this event
on in a successful manner is one's desire to change perspectives
and make a difference in the lives of others.
It is likely that college students within your communities have an
abundance of old shoes that are no longer being worn. By hosting a
shoe drive, you are capable of collecting all of the shoes
necessary to put on a successful event. The next steps would be to
collect anonymous mental health stories and finally setting up the
event in a heavily populated area will make the lasting impact
that you desire when hosting such a large scale event.
Word Count: 114