Faith James, a junior at Hobart & William Smith Colleges, understands that chicken wings and college students invariably go hand-in-hand.
So she tapped into that combination to raise funds for a cause that meant a great deal to her – the HWS chapter of Hugs Across America. The charity’s mission is “to bring comfort to children in crisis through the hugs of teddy bears and messages of loving care.”
Faith James, center, works with fellow HWS students to raise money for Hugs Across America, a group that raises money to purchase teddy bears for children. James and her club raised funds to purchase over 200 teddy bears that were then donated to Geneva General Hospital.
Through multiple fundraisers over the past few semesters – including the “Wings for Hugs” chicken wing eating contest and a Valentine’s Day bake sale – the group raised enough money for over 200 bears to donate toGeneva GeneralHospital.
“I am an avid believer in community service projects that have long term benefits for those who are served,” said James of her recent gift. “It truly means giving a small helping hand to procure a long-term change for people or a community.
In the past, the HWS chapter of Hugs Across America donated bears to various children in theGenevacommunity. But this time the group chose the hospital as one of the top places to donate the bears.
James, fromBuffalo, is majoring in public policy with a concentration in children and families, along with a major in sociology/anthropology. She had grown up volunteering with her brother, so when she entered college, she knew she wanted to continue to volunteer.
“I really enjoy coordinating fundraisers with my club members and giving the bears to those who will appreciate and love our bears,” she said.
Geneva General staff will use the bears in a variety of ways including giving them to kids in the Emergency Department and in the Laboratories. A large portion will be given to children at theFinger LakesSurgeryCenterwhen they come for their pre-surgery tour.
“A surgery can be worrisome for anyone, especially a child, so we’ve created our pre-surgery ‘Kids Tours’ to help calm their fears and show them what to expect when they arrive for their outpatient surgery,” said Diane Nilles, nurse manager/site administrator for the Finger Lakes Surgery Center. “Then they bring the bear back with them on the day of surgery.”
“The bears provide a little bit of comfort the kids can take with them after the tour as a reminder that we’re going to take great care of them,” she said.