Senior Cassidy Garretson, majoring in biology with a concentration in pre-physical therapy and a minor in sports medicine, recently helped new mothers by giving them baskets filled with gifts. Garretson is a volunteer at A Better Choice where she has been volunteering for since March 2019 during her senior year of high school.
A Better Choice is a Catholic crisis pregnancy resource center, serving women of all ages and socio-economic levels who are struggling with the fear and uncertainty of an unplanned pregnancy. The organization offers counseling and support to mothers to serve them and their babies with dignity and respect.
For volunteer work, Garretson does whatever is needed, such as scanning paperwork, organizing donations, or typing information up for the staff.
“It is an amazing organization. They are able to help so many women in our community by providing resources for them,” Garretson said.
Garretson is an ASC scholar and this was her senior ASC capstone project. She received lots of donations to make 20 self-care baskets for the mothers.
With the help of her friends from Campus Ministry, which she is also involved in on campus, they carried all of the donations into Sacred Heart Hall and made the baskets. The students who contributed to Garretson’s capstone were Deseray Cruz, Isabel Porres, Kaylee McNeill, Colby McKee, Marcus Lines and Logan Herrington, along with Advancement Database Coordinator Julia Sanders.
“I was originally going to do a baby shower and collect baby items for the organization, but I decided to do something for the mothers instead. It seems like everyone always focuses on the new baby, and the needs of the mother are often forgotten. I wanted to do something that could encourage the mothers and show them that they are loved,” Garretson said.
The self-care baskets included candles, fuzzy socks, face masks, hand soaps and lotions. Garretson and the others also wrote notes of encouragement in the baskets for the mothers as well as put Bible verses on the envelope.
“I had so much fun collecting the items and putting the baskets together. It has been so rewarding getting to pass out the baskets to new moms,” Garretson said.
After graduating this spring, Garretson plans to become a physical therapist and eventually have her own practice.
“I want to be able to make a difference in people’s lives and help them to live their lives to the fullest again,” Garretson said.
Even after she graduates, Garretson still hopes to continue helping new mothers.
“I also want to continue to volunteer at A Better Choice. I hope to eventually become a client advocate,” Garretson said.
Apply for the ASC Service Award at Newman University
Named for and sponsored by the founders of Newman University, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ or “ASC” sisters, the ASC Service Award and corresponding program are designed to enhance the servant leadership skills of students who demonstrate a commitment to civic engagement.