Residence Hall Association Teams up with CHOP for Service Project

November 23, 2020

Service to society is at the heart of Gwynedd Mercy University and permeates everything we do as an institution. From coursework to athletics and everything in between, our commitment to service is steadfast.  

Sophomore Tarria Brown saw an opportunity to extend our Mercy mission out into the community when she joined the board of GMercyU’s Residence Hall Association (RHA).

“When I took this position, I knew I had creative reign and responsibility to do unique community service outside the Gwynedd Mercy University community while still involving the commuter and resident students,” Tarria said.

While brainstorming ideas, Tarria noticed a friend’s homemade blanket. Soon, Tarria had a plan - make blankets for the Child Life Office at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Within the first ten minutes of distributing flyers in the residence halls, there were already a handful of emails with students interested in signing up. With the help of her fellow RHA board members, Tarria purchased, prepped, and handed out the materials to all who signed up.

“I prioritized making sure both commuters and residents can participate,” Tarria said. “I made sure to use whatever time I had in my schedule to cater to commuter students and drop off blankets to anyone who did not live in the residence halls so they did not feel excluded from this community service opportunity.”

Once the 20 blankets were completed, Tarria collected the blankets and according to CHOP’s protocol, washed and dried them in non-fragrant and dye-free detergent and immediately placed them in a plastic bag to reduce any contamination. The last step was to package and ship the blankets, which Director of Housing and Residence Life and RHA Advisor Bryan Dunphy-Culp along with Administrative Assistant for Residence Life Terri Schwabenland assisted with.

“One of the tenets of the mission of the Office of Residence Life is creating with our students residence halls that are conducive to continual personal growth academic success, and service to society,” Bryan said. “RHA (Residence Hall Association) serves as a programming and advocacy group that represents the residents and help Residence Life to see our mission forward.  I could not be any prouder of Tarria’s initiative and dedication to creating this service project and how it successful it became.”

Tarria managed to spearhead this project all while juggling her coursework as well as serving as treasurer of the Student Activities Committee and a member of the Student Association of Science.

“It’s such a rewarding feeling knowing you can involve the community to help create something that could be cherished forever,” Tarria said. “That was my priority from the very beginning.”