What would help brighten the day of a sick child? Seeking the answer to this question motivated BBA+ Weekend Group 26 to pull out all creative stops for a recent volunteer service event at Miami Children’s Hospital. The end result? More than 100 young patients decorated their own “treasure chest” as a keepsake from their hospital stay.
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As part of this Business in Society service learning project, the students joined forces with AT&T Telecom Pioneers South Florida Council to put the principles of social responsibility into action. Telecom Pioneers is one of largest industry-related service organizations in the world.
Robert Hogner, who teaches the Business in Society class, noted that “this second semester of successful engagement with AT&T continues our college’s first major community service collaboration with a global business enterprise.”
Students motivated to “think outside the box.”
“We worked closely with the director of volunteer services to meet the volunteer project requirements for Miami Children’s Hospital,” said project leader Mitzue Stockdale, marketing coordinator, NEO Concepts LLC. “Then our entire group brainstormed ideas on how to make our allotted time at the hospital as fun and meaningful as possible. We decided to pursue the treasure chest craft idea.”
With help from Telecom Pioneer volunteers and several professors from the BBA+ Weekend program, the Group 26 team collected empty shoe boxes gathered from local department stores, then wrapped them with brown paper bags donated by Publix Super Markets to create blank-canvas treasure chests just waiting to be transformed into personalized mementos—with the help of brightly colored crayons, glitter, and stickers.
For the actual service event, a smaller team visited the children and helped them create their unique treasure chest. As part of the activity, volunteers from the hospital’s Radio Lollipop, an internal radio and television network, featured several of the participating children on their daily broadcast.
“This project was a true success—one that put a smile on the children’s faces,” said Cindy Esquivel (BBA ’01), community service chair, AT&T Telecom Pioneers South Florida Council. “It shows what can be accomplished through creativity and teamwork.”
One good deed leads to another.
“While our time with the children was brief, there is no doubt that we lifted a few young hearts,” Stockdale said. “What’s more, I’m proud to say that it seems our project may be the first of many to come with Miami Children’s Hospital, as the BBA+ Weekend Group 27 joined the cause and coordinated an Easter basket activity for the children.”