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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

Cards for Hearts: Community of Care Tackles Their February Challenge

Throughout February, the Community of Care club has been meeting to craft fun-filled jokes and riddle cards to distribute to children. With this initiative, the club aims to uplift little kids and bring a smile to their faces.
Community+of+Care%2C+a+club+focused+on+brightening+the+lives+of+senior+nursing+home+citizens%2C+enlarged+its+focus+group+by+making+joke+and+riddle+cards+for+children+over+February.+For+one+month%2C+28+students+attended+making+300+cards+in+total+to+be+donated+to+the+organization+A+BRIGHT+SPOT%2C+which+distributes+them+to+children.+
Photo Courtesy of Samhita Bellary
Community of Care, a club focused on brightening the lives of senior nursing home citizens, enlarged its focus group by making joke and riddle cards for children over February. For one month, 28 students attended making 300 cards in total to be donated to the organization A BRIGHT SPOT, which distributes them to children.

Opera tunes fill the college and career center as the clock hits 4:30 p.m. Soon, laughter and enthusiasm echo out into the hall as Community of Care members assemble for a race to handcraft joke cards for children and earn volunteer hours. The pressure is on at their second-to-last meeting on Feb. 26: having to craft another 130 cards with only two meetings left is a race against time.  

Since the beginning of February, Community of Care has been meeting every Monday and Wednesday after school to make joke and riddle cards. These cards go to the organization A BRIGHT SPOT, which distributes them to children. A BRIGHT SPOT aims to “bring smiles one free card at a time” by distributing uplifting cards at nursing homes, schools, hospitals, and veteran organizations. 

Bringing a smile to children’s faces wasn’t the original focus of the club though: Community of Care was founded in 2022 by club president Rayna Budigelli with the aim of spreading love and care to the elderly living at nursing homes. Research has found that 30% of nursing home residents suffer from depression each year. Hearing a report on this growing and often overlooked issue, Budigelli decided to do something about it and created the Community of Care. 

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After partnering with A BRIGHT SPOT, the club found that the organization also offers to distribute fun joke and riddle cards to children to brighten up their days. “I think we’re slowly expanding our horizons to not only the elderly, but other people that we can help impact in the community,” Budigelli said. Eager to start another initiative after the club’s successful Valentine’s card campaign in January, they signed up to deliver 280 hand-crafted cards to A BRIGHT SPOT by the end of February. 

After only receiving five cards at the end of the club’s first meeting, the officers got nervous. “We really doubted that we would be able to meet our goal,” Budigelli said. “For the first three meetings, we got 5 cards, then 10 cards, then 15. [At our last meeting] we pulled out with 100. Luckily, thanks to everyone, we were able to pull it all off and now we have 300 cards.”

This effort and success was only made possible by dedicated members who showed up to earn volunteer hours, but also enjoyed the welcoming and joyful atmosphere and brought friends along to make cards together. Junior Samitha Bellary showed up to four meetings and had so much fun that she forgot about being there for the volunteer hours. 

How much volunteer time a card earned was evaluated on a scale of effort; while time was precious, many enjoyed putting a lot of effort into one card to make it look pretty. “I tried to make a lot of cards, but every time it would take an hour to make one card,” Bellary said. “I tried to make mine as fun [and] comedic as possible. I know people are going to be out there, they may be having a really horrible day, so I was like ‘let me just make their day a little bit better’.”

For Bellary, Budigelli and so many others, the event turned out to be a success, not only in the amount of cards they were able to craft but also in bringing the community together. “Seeing everyone there, listening to some random music that we put on, all laughing, all making cards [was one of my favorite moments],” Budigelli said. “I’ve seen people that have never met each other before, getting along so well, laughing together. I feel like it’s such a community experience, just for everyone who’s there making cards, collaboratively having a good time.”



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About the Contributor
Melissa Waas
Melissa Waas, Video Editor
Melissa Waas is a junior who is the Video Editor for The Blaze. Waas has a place in her heart for making films with her two sisters, who also love to make craft and movie projects.  Originally from France, Waas moved in 8th grade, and she loves being part of the Rock Ridge community, where she is also involved in PEER and is one of the WINGS mentors.

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