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Good Will Projects Abound To Help Study Abroad Students Cope

Stony Brook Stitchers

SUNY Students returning from overseas several weeks ago to self-isolation at Stony Brook Southampton campus received an outpouring of love and support from the University half an island away.

While the coronavirus kept them in lockdown, members of the campus community found ways to make them feel as normalized as possible during what has become a global pandemic unprecedented in modern times.

Stony Brook Stitchers
Melissa Shampine, left, TH Staff Assistant, Cardiac Services and Jan M. Tassie, Assistant Director, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services, are co-directors of Stony Brook Stitchers.

Good Samaritan acts abounded, coordinated by Joan Dickinson, director of community relations.

“Jan Tassie, director of Stony Brook Stitchers, West Campus, and I received an email blast from Joan Dickinson asking for donated items for students recently required to return to the States from study abroad programs as a result of the COVID19 spread,” said Melissa Shampine, director of Stony Brook Stitchers, East Campus.

“We in turn reached to our volunteers asking for items to send to the students to welcome them home and provide a bit of comfort and entertainment while they were quarantined.”

The volunteers responded in kind with lap blankets, prayer shawls, a few hand-crocheted bags with personal care items such as tissues, lotions and the like.

“We needed to gather up items in a hurry so along with these items we sent snacks, decks of cards, games such as Yahtzee, Monopoly, puzzles, coloring books, colored pencils and markers, socks and magazines,” added Shampine.

Dickinson and Tassie made the pickups and deliveries to the students of six large shopping bags and three boxes of assorted items.

“These are extraordinary times and they call for quick action in reaching out to support one another,” said Shampine.

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The Stony Brook Cancer Center, whose ‘community partners’ created comfort care or ‘goody’ bags for the oncology patients in residence, also rallied to make 33 goody bags for the students quarantined at Stony Brook campus at Southampton, according to Linda Bily, Cancer Patient Advocacy and Community Outreach Coordinator.

— Glenn Jochum





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