Helping children is focus of fall T&T service project

Aug 25, 2016
Newman University Service Project

Every year the Newman University Traditions and Transitions class perform a service project in order to give back to the Wichita community. Traditions and Transitions – on campus known as T&T -is a class designed for incoming freshman that helps ease the transition between high school and college, while at the same time assimilating new students into the traditions of Newman University.

Newman University Service Project
Thor Balavage (L) and Edward Jabbari (R) show off their finished product

This year the Newman T&T students created tied blankets for children that are neglected and or abused. Before the incoming freshmen started their project, they listened to Detective Jeremy Noel from the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department explain how much a simple blanket can mean to a child in need. He recounted a touching moment he had with a five year old that causes him to wonder whether it will impact the entirety of the child’s life. He tells the students, “Does it? I don’t know. But I like to think that it does.”

Earlier this year, those who presided over forming the T&T projects and groups heard that certain agencies around the Wichita area had a need for blankets to give to children and homeless shelters. One of the prominent uses for the blankets will be for officers to carry in their squad cars in order to be prepared for a situation that involves a child in need of warmth and comfort.

After the students listened to Detective Noel, they were divided into pairs and created fleece blankets by taking two pieces of fabric, cutting the edges into strips, and tying them together to form a blanket. A total of 95 blankets were created and will be disturbed to a few more organizations than just the police department. Though the majority of blankets will be donated to the Sedgwick County Police Department, a family outreach program for an inner city school, the Center of Hope, which is an ASC charity, and a shelter will receive blankets as well.

Newman University Service Project
Students preparing material for a blanket

Rosemary Niedens, associate vice president for academic affairs, oversaw this T&T group project. In an interview she had this to say: “While this project may not seem earth shattering, its effects are major to a child whose world is in total chaos.  We talked on Saturday about the ripple effects of our actions. We can’t necessarily see the impact but we know it is there.  As Cardinal Newman said, we are “a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.”  Our mission calls for graduates to transform society. On Saturday, new NU freshmen students spent their own time doing just that.”

Later in the semester the T&T students will perform another service project, which will be specifically chosen by the individual groups.