My name is Jose Cairo and I am one of the Community Outreach Team Leaders at With Purpose: College Station. As the semester comes to an end, I am very proud to have been a part of a new initiative that WPCS embarked on. This semester, the Community Outreach team implemented a new project: The Chemo Gift Bag Donation Drive. WPCS actively works toward raising awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research, but we also wanted to have a more immediate impact on the lives of children and families affected by cancer. So, we decided to host several drives in order to collect items which can alleviate the difficulties patients undergoing chemotherapy must endure.
Earlier this semester, our team developed a list of items to collect, such as: socks, beanies, blankets, coloring books, crayons/markers, puzzles, Chapstick, mints, jolly ranchers, toys, movies, hand sanitizer and neck pillows, among other items. We also managed to partner with MD Anderson Cancer Center, so their chemotherapy patients will be the recipients of the collected items at the end of semester.
I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback we obtained from the Bryan/College Station community regarding these drives. This past Saturday, April 8th, With Purpose: College Station partnered with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas and hosted a joint drive to collect items. It was a heart-warming experience to see so many community members attend the drive and donate to our cause. We even had some unaware community members run to the nearest store, collect items, and come back! I am very grateful to the Ronald McDonald House Charities staff who worked very attentively to help our cause as well.
For quite some time, the Community Outreach team worked diligently in advertising the drives. Our drives have been advertised on local radio stations as well as on the local KBTX TV station. Other student organizations, such as Future Aggie Nurses and Aggie Classics have also donated to our cause. And, quite frankly, I couldn’t be more proud of my team for making our vision a reality. It is a great feeling to see a simple idea become a reality, and it is even more rewarding because, one by one, all of these individual donations will have a huge positive impact on the lives of many children. And, because of that, I am happy.
WPCS Community Outreach Team Leader