On Friday, Oct. 18 starting at 4:30 p.m., the Stags 4 Seniors Build-A-House organization hosted their first event of the semester, Leave-A-Leaf, at the bottom of the Daniel and Grace Tully Dining Commons stairs in the John A. Barone Campus Center.
Students stopped by the table and wrote out autumn greetings on leaf shaped paper. The four students who make up Stags 4 Seniors will go deliver the cards to the Cambridge Rehabilitation Center in Fairfield and hang them up on the walls.
“It made me happy,” Kyra LaSpina ‘22 said after she made a card. Another student, Kristen Oliger ‘22, agreed, adding, “It’s a very sweet gesture.”
The four juniors who created this Stags 4 Seniors Build-A-House group are Olivia Sarantopoulous, Anna Silvia, Lauren Flynn and Emma Short.
According to the University’s website, “Junior and Senior residents are invited to apply to create their own Living and Learning experience through the Build-A-House Program! Build-A-House themes can be campus related, local community related, national, or global in scope. The goal of each house is to raise awareness of important concerns, to build community by bringing neighbors together, and to create a positive impact not only at Fairfield but far beyond campus borders as well. Houses are selected on their ability to articulate their vision to raise awareness, create impact, and promote civic responsibility.”
Students have to apply, go through interviews and put together presentations for their proposed ideas. Sarantopoulos explained that presentations were conducted last week, so this is the Stags 4 Seniors first event.
Sarantopoulous explained that many of the Build-A-House groups work with organizations on campus, so the girls were excited to bring their service off-campus and into the wider Fairfield community.
“Several of us have grandparents in nursing homes and we see people who don’t ever get visitors,” Sarantopoulos said of the group’s inspiration for their service. “They are the generation that paved the way for us, and they often get overlooked now,” she continued.
The Stags 4 Seniors leaders have not yet been to the Cambridge Rehabilitation Center, but they have been in contact with the activity coordinator via email for weeks now. They each expressed their anticipation and excitement to deliver the leaf cards to the home and start getting to know some of the residents and staff that they will be working alongside for the remainder of the year.
The students have plans to do an activity in the winter with Christmas cards to spread holiday cheer in the halls of the Cambridge nursing home. They also shared their goals of hosting bingo nights and a senior prom for the residents as well, during which students from Fairfield would volunteer to spend some time making the senior citizens feel acknowledged and special.
“Our goal is to have people consistently going throughout the semester,” Sarantopoulous said.
When asked if they had anything else to say in regard to their hopes and inspiration for the Stags 4 Seniors organization, the three students agreed that Sarantopoulos covered it all well.
“We’re all just happy to be here, and to be doing this,” said Flynn.
The students who stopped at the table for just a few minutes to write a card left with smiles on their faces knowing they did something that will make someone else’s day. This is the goal of Stags 4 Seniors, so be on the lookout for information about their next event.