RIC Civic Engagement is sponsoring the upcoming Jared Box Project. This event is taking place on Tuesday, Dec. 14 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Donovan Dining Center. The mission of the Jared Box Project is to entertain and put a smile on the faces of children in the hospital. The Project is named after five-year-old Jared McMullen who was diagnosed with an incurable brainstem tumor in 1999.
The Jared Project's website goes on to explain that "He carried a backpack full of toys and games to all appointments and questioned why the other children didn’t bring toys to their exam rooms. Jared shared his toys and invited the other children to join him in a game of UNO." Jared's compassion and fondness for sharing toys with other children in the hospital inspired his classmates to honor his memory by creating boxes filled with toys for the patients at their local hospital. The project grew into a nonprofit that now participates with over 400 hospitals across the United States and Canada. Each "Jared Box" contains small gifts, toys, games, crayons, coloring books and fun activities selected for children in the hospital.
Each RIC student who participates will choose toys, games and art supplies. Then they will get to decorate the box itself and write a note to the child who will receive it. All donations will be brought to Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence.
Civic Engagement’s mission is “to provide students with opportunities to be agents of change and to positively impact others and their communities.”
Miranda DiCenzo, a graduate assistant for Civic Engagement explains that, “RIC Civic Engagement was inspired to sponsor this event during the holiday season to spread joy to children in need of support and hope. This small act of kindness can help students connect to children going through difficult times. Though we may not know their name, or exactly what they are going through, we hope that each child knows we are rooting for them through these boxes of play and messages of hope.”
Kristen Salemi, Director of Student Union, further explained the importance an event like this has, saying, “Having the Jared Box project event in Donovan Dining Center will be [a] great chance for RIC students to give of themselves in an easy and convenient way. It will only cost them a few minutes of their time with the many benefits of making a sick child's day brighter!”