Studying for finals wasn’t the only concern for Introduction to Organizational Communication students at the University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County. Class members were completing a five-week project to bring local children sweet dreams.
Each student proposed a project to raise money or awareness for community or campus issues. They would apply business and organizational skills from the course in the proposal selected.
“I love the service learning aspect of it, and when I've taught it in the past, I've noticed that many of my students have really benefitted from the ‘real world’ applicability of the course,” says Kelly Wilz, assistant professor of communication and theater arts.
The proposal selected benefitted the Sweet Dreams Project, pioneered in Marshfield by Gina Mattheisen to provide care packages to children removed from their homes by protective services.
“What sets Sweet Dreams apart is they really do reach out and help children right at the ‘rescue’ moment,” says Haley Sommers, a UW-Marshfield/Wood County student.
After brainstorming ways to raise money, the group took action with bake sales, campus coin wars and asking the community for funds. The class raised $248.72 and created 28 care packages for Gina’s fourth annual “Pajama Party” care package collection at the Marshfield Shoppes at Wood Ridge Mall Dec. 10, 2011.
“Once we received all the funds we went shopping to get all the care package items. We had to purchase pillow cases to fill with children's pajamas, books and/or stuffed animals. We had numerous donations from the community from pajamas to books, stuffed animals and complete care packages!” Haley says.
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