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Talkers bundle bears

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Posted on January 22, 2010

Students network, clubs meet service goals and children benefit from a project organized by the Women’s Center.

Tie-n-Talk participants saw the first tangible results this month when nearly 30 “Blanket, Book and Bear Bundles” were delivered to the Washington Women’s Shelter for young children victimized by domestic violence.

“We provided the fleece material and children’s books, and we asked participating groups to donate teddy bears,” said Kay Dorrance, a former graduate assistant at the Women’s Center who now is interim coordinator/advocate for the P.E.A.C.E. Project.

“Each group scheduled specific times to come in and make the blankets and tie it all together with ribbon.”

Tie-n-Talk participants included the women’s swimming team, Black Student Union, Best Buddies, PRSSA, the PRactitioners, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Sigma Pi and the Psychology Club.

“The idea behind Tie-n-Talk was really to give clubs and organizations something they need, which is involvement in service projects,” said Dorrance, who will earn a master’s degree in social work this May.

“At the same time, it was an ideal way to network, build some relationships and see what kind of events we have planned. We want to build that bridge with the Women’s Center and students on campus.”

During her internship at Domestic Violence Services of Fayette County, Dorrance saw firsthand how children are affected by family violence. She believes the bundles can offer some comfort.

“It’s something soothing to give them to make things a little better,” she said. “Oftentimes children and women come into a shelter with literally just the clothes on their back. They do not have time to gather what few toys they might have.”

The Women’s Center has scheduled an array of activities for the spring semester, including a fundraiser for Tie-n-Talk.

Collaborating with the women’s swimmming and softball teams — and endorsed by First Lady Barbara Armenti — the Women’s Center is co-hosting a raffle to benefit The Village, a nonprofit facility near campus that offers child care for low-income single parents who are pursuing their education at Cal U.

The grand prize of the raffle is free in-state tuition for a semester, or the cash equivalent ($2,800). All proceeds benefit The Village daycare center, the Women’s Center and the two teams. Tickets may be purchased at the Women’s Center, Carter Hall G-45.

“The Tie-n-Talk event was successful,” said Nancy Skobel, director of the Women’s Center and the P.E.A.C.E. Project. “The raffle was a direct spin-off from this and helped more people become aware of the center and what we have to offer.”