As a leadership intern for the Delta Xi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), an International Honor Society of Nursing based out of Kent State’s College of Nursing, it was my responsibility, along with the other intern, to develop a project that would fulfill STTI President Cathy Catrambone’s call to action in philanthropy. Instantly, I thought of Project Night Night (PNN), a service project I had previously participated in.

PNN, a non-profit organization, provides displaced or homeless children with the most basic essentials to assure comfort; a book, a blanket, and a stuffed animal all nestled into a tote bag. This small and simple act is a profound gesture for a child who is scared, lonely or possibly confused.

I first learned about Project Night Night from a friend whose family takes on a different service project each year around the Thanksgiving holiday. Believing this was a wonderful way to give back to the community, I implemented the project with my own family. As a result, we exceeded our original goal to donate 15 bags and were able to deliver 84 Night Night totes to a local shelter!

When it came time to propose ideas for Delta Xi’s philanthropy project, I thought “why not implement a Project Night Night drive to help the local communities, but on a grander scale.”

Our innate, primal instinct to protect and provide for the innocent and less fortunate had been sent into overdrive as we reached out university and community-wide seeking donations. Word about our project spread through flyers, social media postings, networking, and community presentations. To kick off our campaign, which began in October 2016, and in honor of STTI’s Founder’s Day, we hosted a donation drive in exchange for sweet treats. Between collecting donated items from more than 15 donation sites around campus and in the community, managing monetary donations, shopping around to get the biggest bang for our buck, and stuffing and tagging each and every tote, the time flew by!

Before we knew it, December was here and delivery day was upon us! With a huge team in place to disperse Night Night bags to five local shelters, it was go time! In the end, we collected and assembled 447 Night Night bags, but more importantly, helped to provide comfort and security to 447 children.

I was so proud of all that we had accomplished, this feeling of pure grace and peace overtook me. Unfortunately, that fantastic feeling was quickly squashed by the reality of the world we live in. During one of our donation drops, a shelter volunteer explained to me that all 140 of the Night Night bags we had just delivered would be gone by the next day!

Although the PNN drive was a huge success and many children benefited, our call to action is never complete.

To learn more about Project Night Night and how to participate in your own donation drive, visit http://www.projectnightnight.org/

If you would like to learn more about Delta Xi, please visit http://deltaxi.nursingsociety.org/home