A TCU student is encouraging the TCU community and beyond to support a valuable cause this holiday season. Claire Simmons, sophomore neuroscience major, is spending her spare time outside of classes, labs and extracurricular activities to package and collect hygiene kits for refugees affected by the Syrian crisis.
Simmons said “home” is essential to human nature. “That is not to say that a home is solely a place, but it is a state of being. These refugees no longer have a home, they may be separated from their family, and may not have clean water or other basic needs,” Simmons said.
She has spearheaded the collection effort by gathering donations and supplies to make the kits, which are valued at $10 including $2 shipping. With additional support from classmates in the TCU Chemistry Club, Simmons has successfully put together more than 150 kits since the start of her project in September.
Although this project is a personal endeavor, Simmons credits her venture to an informal sub-group of the TCU Chemistry Club she calls “Be the Change,” which focuses on outreach. She said the group reflects on the famous saying by Mahatma Gandhi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
“Our goal is to provide refugees with 1,000 kits by year-end. We will collaborate with the Church World Service Organization (CWS), a disaster assistance program, to direct the kits to refugees,” Simmons said.
“I have advertised my project in local church bulletins and discussed the group with my professors who have given me additional contacts to connect with. I will be putting together the kits before the holiday break, which is when I will send them to the third party organization (CWS) to send directly to the refugee campus,” she said.
“Everyone can help in some way, whether with their time, materials or a fiscal donation. This is not a political agenda, but a global call for help. I cannot think of a greater cause than this, to help those who are lacking the fundamental needs of life,” Simmons said.