Students on the Program Board of Mohawk Valley Community College found a meaningful way to help others while honoring a cause close to their hearts: a book drive for children at regional neonatal intensive care units.
The club, which helps to plan entertainment for students, volunteers in the community every semester. This fall, they decided to focus on getting young children excited about reading, and student Trey Hodgdon suggested they consider the story of their advisor, De’Anna Hopkinson, for inspiration.
In May 2018, Hopkinson had triplets- Isa’Bella, Gabriella, and Briella. Born three months early, they spent months in the NICU at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse. While her sisters went home in July, Gabby continued to fight, but passed away at just over eight months old. Throughout these difficult months, Hopkinson read to her girls in the hospital so they could hear her voice. Moved by this story, the Program Board decided to collect books for the NICU.
The book drive began in September, and students spread the word by posting flyers on campus and social media. Donations poured in from students, employees, alumni, and community members. Ultimately, 103 new and 368 used books were collected. On November 26th, Hopkinson accompanied Hodgdon and Program Board members Pricilla Acevedo, Myles Fladger, and Katherine Rossi to deliver the new books to the Crouse NICU and used books to the nearby Ronald McDonald House.
Hodgdon said the experience was an important one for all of the students. “I’m really glad we could give back to organizations that help so many families through hard times, and that we are, in a small way, starting a child on their own path to education.”
Across SUNY, students, faculty and administration alike are coming together to in the spirit of charity and togetherness. 30 Days of Giving is our annual tradition, which starts on Thanksgiving every year, where we reflect on efforts of the past year and highlight some of the selfless acts of that members of the SUNY community are leading. Stay tuned for more.
Taryn Rackmyer is a recent graduate of Mohawk Valley Community College, now attending the University at Albany for Public Policy. Taryn is a student assistant for SUNY's Government Relations & Marketing Department.