Quinnipiac University’s Student Nurses Association (QSNA) and sorority Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi) recently collaborated to create 40 warm fleece throws for kids and families supported by Ronald McDonald House in New Haven.
The popular QSNA blanket-making event supports different charities each year. This year, QSNA added a twist by partnering with ADPi for the first time. The two-hour blitz of blanket-building drew over 100 student volunteers to the piazza on the Mount Carmel Campus.
The cooperative venture was conceived by student Sophia Venturini, a QSNA member and ADPi vice president of philanthropy. The sorority focuses its fundraising and community service on supporting the Ronald McDonald House, where families stay while their children are getting medical treatment, she said.
“Most of ADPi’s philanthropy is for the Ronald McDonald House charities,” said Venturini. “I knew QSNA did this every year and I thought it would be a great idea to collaborate and give the blankets to the Ronald McDonald House in New Haven.”
QSNA co-president Jeremy Luizzi said this year’s cooperative collaboration with ADPi will help exceed past efforts by boosting both the number of blankets and awareness for a charitable organization.
“We decided to use both of our representations on campus to bring more awareness and get more people involved,” said Luizzi.
The focus of the philanthropic initiative is also a perfect fit with QSNA values, said QSNA co-president Caroline Ettlinger.
“One of our values is giving back to the community that’s around us, because that’s part of our job in the future – being empathetic, providing help and providing care to others who need it,” said Ettlinger.
QSNA faculty adviser Gladys Vallespir Ellett, an associate professor of nursing, said the effort also aligns with the holistic focus of Quinnipiac’s nursing program.
“A lot of times people think nursing is just taking care of the person in the hospital, but we really look at the whole person and their families,” said Ellett.
Speaking from personal experience, QSNA staff advisor Patricia Gettings, director of business operations and administration, said some of the blankets put together by QSNA and ADPi students may soon snuggle an infant in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
“I don’t know where Ronald McDonald House is going to use them, but I know that most hospitals use them in NICU,” said Gettings. “It’s dear to my heart because my daughter had a baby who was born eight weeks early, and he got one of those for his isolette, and she still has it. It’s something bright and cheery for the parents to have while their baby is in there.”
As volunteers snipped, twisted and fluffed each finished fleece blanket, Ellett said it was a unique opportunity to gather students from different organizations across Quinnipiac who value providing community service.
“This is about being a good human, providing community service, and bringing what we can to the community. I think it shows Quinnipiac students in a very good light,” said Ellett.