Month: April 2018


Community Service Program of the Month
Cards for a Cause

School: University of Hawai`i at Manoa Region: PACURH
Person in charge: Austin Choy Nominator: Austin Choy

Target Population: 1000 Time Needed to Organize: 2 Hours
Number of People in Attendance: 55 Date(s) of Program: Thursday, April 12, 2018
Number of People Needed to Organize: 1 Cost of Program: $50
On-Campus Population: 3,450 Chapter Size: 34

Origin of Program:

The National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) is a relatively new chapter that was recently established two years ago. Having successfully set the framework for the organization last semester, the members wanted to focus more on service this semester. They wanted to have an accessible, on-campus service project that would spread the name of the NRHH chapter and give residents an opportunity to be involved. Though ideas were frequently suggested at the meetings, many of them were scrapped because they were impractical or difficult to do with the chapter's small size.

One of the NRHH members, Austin, proposed the idea of making birthday cards for a non-profit organization called H.U.G.S. This local organization works to provide emotional and financial support to families with children who have been diagnosed with a life- threatening illness or disease. Austin had experience working with this organization in the past. He had attended similar card making events in the past and they were all very successful. The members of NRHH were very supportive the idea since it could be organized quickly and conveniently. Austin worked to adapt it for the chapter's first organized community service event of the semester.

Word Count: 200

Please give a short description of the program:

On the evening of Thursday, April 12th, members of UH Mānoa's NRHH set up a card-making table right outside of the Hale Aloha Cafeteria. Residents walking to the cafeteria to get dinner were greeted with a colorful sign that said "Come Make Birthday Cards with NRHH." NRHH members enthusiastically invited residents to join them in their efforts of making birthday cards for the children of H.U.G.S. As residents approached the table to create a card, NRHH members educated them about the H.U.G.S. local organization. NRHH members also explained various guidelines for the birthday cards, some of which included "do not include slang, profanity, or biblical affiliations," "do not mention anything about being sick," and "please sign the cards From, Your Friends at H.U.G.S." From there, the residents were free to use the provided materials to make their birthday card vision a reality.

At the cardmaking table, a wide variety of craft supplies were available for residents to use. First, residents could decide which color they wanted their card to be. Pre-cut pieces of cardstock of all colors were available to them. Next, residents were encouraged to decorate their card creatively and thoughtfully. They were supplied with all the tools needed to create the perfect birthday card: markers, colored pencils, and pens. If residents did not feel like drawing, they were could choose from a colorful array of cute stickers that ranged from safari animals and hipster cats to smiling robots and cupcakes with happy faces. Once the residents completed and signed their cards, they placed it into a brightly colored purple box. Residents then continued through their day knowing that they were able to make a difference in someone's life. Once the program was concluded, one member of the UHM NRHH chapter hand delivered the completed cards to the H.U.G.S. office.

Word Count: 301

Goals of the program:

The first goal of the program was to promote the UHM Student Housing Servicesʻ core value of mālama, meaning to care for or maintain. This value of selflessness and mindfulness would help residents feel more connected to the place they live in. By serving the community in a meaningful way, residents would feel a sense of responsibility for Hawaiʻi and its people.

The second goal of the program was to provide residents with a safe space to relieve stress and express their creativity. As it is towards the end of the semester, residents can get so caught up in studying that they forget about their own health. This program was meant to help residents step away from the overwhelming stress of finals and recenter on their own mental wellbeing.

The third goal of the program was to increase the presence of NRHH within the UHM residence halls. Being a newly established organization, the UHM NRHH chapter was small in size and not very well known. The NRHH members hoped to use this program to get the organization's name out in the community. Through this program, residents would have positive interactions with NRHH members and better understand what the organization is.

Word Count: 200

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

First, the program helped residents rediscover the value of community service. The simple act of making cards for another person reminded residents about the importance of caring for other members of our community. More importantly, this rewarding opportunity to serve others inspired residents to maintain a mindset of kindness and care in all they do. They will be more willing to engage in acts of community service in the future. The value of mālama will continue to spread as residents attend other service projects and care for the people of their community.

Second, the program helped residents understand the importance of self-care. This arts and crafts centered program reminded residents to take some time out of their day to relieve stress and do something that they enjoy. Ultimately, they will reevaluate and rebalance their current values to not only focus on academics.

Lastly, the program made residents more familiar with UHM's NRHH chapter. With the organization's name known, residents will be more likely to interact with the organization in future events. Residents will continue to be involved with NRHH now that they know what it is. The program could also have inspired some residents to join NRHH next semester.

Word Count: 199

Short evaluation of the program:

The program was a major success. A total of 55 people participated in the card making. At the end of the program, 70 completed birthday cards were collected. Overall, this program successfully met its goals and learning outcomes. First, residents genuinely enjoyed doing community service. When they found out that their cards would be donated to H.U.G.S., they jumped at the opportunity to help out. They thought it was a very sweet, meaningful way of giving back to others. Residents expressed appreciation for the opportunity to serve the community and intent to continue doing service in the future. Second, residents had a blast making creative birthday cards. They laughed and giggled as they intentionally crafted funny birthday card puns. For example, a card with cat stickers read "To the coolest cat in town, we hope you have a purr-fect birthday." Multiple residents stuck around to create more than one card because they enjoyed taking a break from their stressful schoolwork. Residents described the program as "fun," "creative," and "super awesome." Finally, the program successfully raised awareness about the UHM NRHH chapter. From the positive interactions with NRHH members, residents successfully gained a better understanding of the organization.

Word Count: 197

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

Cards are a universal form of communication that can be used in any community to share happiness, positivity, and encouragement. Organizing a program like this on other campuses would be easy, especially since most universities have paper and craft materials readily available for use. The cards can be made using any type of paper and any type of writing instrument. More arts and crafts materials would only expand the creative possibilities of the card making. The only limit to the cards are the participants' imagination.

The program coordinators would then need to determine a cause for the cards to go towards. They can seek out a local organization, hospital, or institute that is willing to accept card donations. Cards are very versatile, so they can be used for almost any population of people. If the coordinators are unable to reach out to outside organizations, the cards can be given to the students of their own university. For example, residents can make cards for other students as a form of encouragement during finals week. Either way, the participants will still be making a meaningful difference in the lives of other individuals in their community.

Word Count: 193

Date of entry into database: 2018-05-09 16:29:40

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