Project Sunshine is a nonprofit organization with chapters on college campuses across the country. Their mission is to provide free social, educational and recreational programming for children and their families as they face medical challenges. Stony Brook University’s chapter is dedicated to volunteering weekly at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, as well as leading initiatives on campus in support of the children and families there. They seek to restore a sense of normalcy to the pediatric healthcare environment and spread cheer to the children undergoing treatment.
“The events we have hosted with FSA, such as the plant sale and the tie-dye fundraiser, allow Project Sunshine to bring sunshine to a cloudy day for the pediatric patients through fun crafts and activities,” explained Chapter Leader Juliana Welk.
During Welcome Week, Anthony Gentile, FSA Manager of Machine Operated Services, donated more than 100 spider plants, fig trees and avocado plants that he planted and nurtured in his own home. “It brings me joy to donate plants to such a worthy cause where they can be sold to raise money to help children and families that are facing tough times and to brighten students’ days as they move into their residence halls with their special plant,” he said. The Welcome Week Plant Sale raised nearly $1,000 for the national organization. This money will be used to provide more programs and activities for children all over the country.
The “Sending Sunshine” event brought FSA employees together with Project Sunshine students to assemble craft kits that are then sent out to patients in hospitals all over the country. The materials spark joy and provide therapeutic value to the physical and emotional healing process.
“Our goal as an organization is to let kids be kids, and to let them just play and have fun despite their circumstances. We are incredibly grateful to FSA for all of their help and support in bringing these events to life, and to the Stony Brook community for coming out to our events and supporting the cause,” Welk stated.
On September 29, the collaborative fundraiser “Tie-Dye and Sunshine“ was hosted outside of West Side Dining, where the Stony Brook community made their own tie-dye attire (socks, hats and T-shirts). Those who donated to the fundraiser had the opportunity to ride the smoothie bike at the wellness table with CulinArt Campus Dietitian Laura Martorano. Kelly Quad RA Pujan Patel joined the event offering outdoor games including Giant Jenga, Checkers and Tic Tac Toe, and WUSB Radio broadcasted live.
“FSA has been working with Project Sunshine for several years, and they are an organization that is near and dear to my heart. We are thrilled to host events that not only bring the campus community together but also help student groups achieve their goals to help others in need,” stated Angela Agnello, FSA Senior Director of Marketing & Communications.
Project Sunshine holds various drives on campus throughout the semester to bring in donations for the children and families at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. Please follow @pssbu and @sbufsa for more information about the December Toy Drive and drop-off locations.