Students gathered around a doorway to watch six-year-old Aiden enter his new bedroom, put together by the Student Senate community service committee at St. Catherine’s Center for Children, last month.
“The kids already have a difficult time because they’re not at their regular home so doing things like this just makes them feel good so I like it a lot,” said Nate Kealon, assistant supervisor at St. Catherine’s Center for Children.
“We want to encourage students to be able to take advantage of more of these types of leadership opportunities at the college and in the community,” said President Drew Matonak.
“It was a lot of hard work so, seeing [Aiden’s] face made the work seem effortless,” said Erika Pelletier, head of the community service committee. The project was drawn out since the beginning of the semester with help from her brother, freshman senator Stephen Pelletier.
“Even though we are here to learn, we’re also here to make the world a better place,” said Student Senate president Everett McNair. The Student Senate passed a budget of over $200 for the project’s paints in September. The remaining funds came from a bake sale that raised $119 and a coin drop that raised $67.
The room’s makeover took about ten hours, spread over two days. According to Erika, the bulk of students volunteering at the Copson House came on the project’s final date of completion, Nov. 22. “I like seeing little kids happy so I wanted to do something to help brighten their day,” said senior senator Audrey McKee.
With limited space in the bedroom, volunteers worked closely together throughout the weekend project. “Especially in the senate, I got to know people more,” said senior senator Jacob Lamere.
Along with the senate, additional support for the project came from the Pelletier family. “It’s our routine. It’s important for us to give back and that’s what we do,” said Stephanie Pelletier, mother of the senate siblings.
“When you know the story behind it, it’s a different project,” said Stephen. He started working with the Copson House two years ago for an Eagle Scout project. After raising $1,300, Stephen was able to decorate a child’s room with sports memorabilia.
Next semester, Stephen, who wishes to lead the community service committee in his sister’s absence, hopes for the Senate to continue working with the Copson House. “They really do appreciate as much as anyone can get them,” he said.
“It’s a little bit of a challenge, but it’s a great thing to do,” said St. Catherine’s Center for Children executive director William Gettman.