Story by Camille Bistrek, Reporter
Photos Courtesy of Daniel de la Rosa
In front of the Donnelly Center on October 7th, there is a huge white tent inviting volunteers to sit down and decorate pillow cases for an art exhibit raising awareness of homeless women. It is a typical fall day in Michigan, with unusually warm weather and strong gusts of wind. Already the materials for the project are being thrown across the parking lot. Picking up the materials is Brianna Haarer, the CAVA student coordinator. Brianna is a quiet girl full of passion for volunteering and CAVA, the Community Action Volunteers of Aquinas. Brianna found out about the project from Dr. Hausler-Gross, the associate provost for outreach and engagement at Aquinas College. She is also there at the project to encourage students to make as many pillow cases as they can.
Participants at this pillow drive for Dégagé Ministries recognize the importance of engaging with the Grand Rapids community through volunteering. CAVA grants students a convenient avenue for them to experience the power and pride of selfless volunteerism.
The Pillow Project is designed to raise awareness about women that struggle with homelessness due to physical or sexual abuse. 4,700 of the pillow cases made represent the amount of women who have found solace at Dégagé Ministries since 2003. Designing the pillow covers with words of encouragement, pretty drawings, or even nice designs can mean so much to a woman.
If you are interested in volunteering for the next event sponsored by the Community Action Volunteers of Aquinas, check them out at AQ Engage off the RSO page on Aquinas’ website!