598 college students and their professors gathered in a gymnasium at Messiah University near Mechanicsburg, PA. They were there to send smiles to kids in hospitals by creating cards, assembling craft kits and decorating bags.
Over the span of the day, the students assembled 16,545 kits! They all worked on the same kit, the preschool bead necklace. To assemble these kits they used colorful foam beads and pieces of bright shoestring-style yarn all packed into plastic bags along with an insert about Caitlin’s Smiles. These kits will be placed into Coping Kits, Bags of Smiles, and Craft Kit boxes which in turn will be donated to medical facilities for their pediatric patients.
Decorating paper bags to hold the contents of the Bags of Smiles was on the agenda, too. The college donated 1,300 paper bags that will be used to hold the contents of our Bags of Smiles. These bags are filled with arts & crafts activities that are then given to children staying one or more nights in a hospital. The students decorated the bags and wrote messages of encouragement like “Smile!” “You Are Great” and “Shine Bright.”
Each year, Caitlin’s Smiles uses over 30,000 homemade greeting cards in our outreach. The Messiah students pitched into help fulfill the need for cards. Numerous cards were created all with a personal touch and all will brighten the days of children dealing with stressful medical situations.
Thanks to Messiah University for their donation of time, donations and effort in making this volunteer event a success. Additional thanks go out to the freshman class at Messiah University, the Agape Center at the University, and our volunteers.