March 26, 2020

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. – March 26, 2020 – Since announcing the transition of all on-ground classes to online learning for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, dedicated students from St. Joseph’s College (SJC) are finding ways to remain involved in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taylor Hanscom ’22, president of SJC’s Project Sunshine club, has been reaching out to club members and working to ensure their presence is felt at West Islip’s Good Samaritan Hospital, where the group regularly visits with children.

“Since we cannot directly visit with children at the hospital right now, I asked club members to send me inspirational quotes via email,” said Hanscom. “I attached the quotes to St. Patrick’s Day pencils for the children to bring them a little bit of sunshine. We will continue to hold different events throughout the semester to help children across the nation.”

The goal of SJC’s Project Sunshine Club is to establish a sense of normalcy for children facing medical challenges in hospital settings. Working onsite, club members relieve the anxiety of the young patients and in a context of fun and play, foster in them the courage and coping skills necessary to undergo procedures that lie ahead.

“We design fun, creative and engaging activities for children to enjoy during their stay in the hospital,” said Lisa Tafuro, associate professor of speech and moderator of Project Sunshine. “Students also volunteer their time to raise money and design crafts for patients. The work they do is so important and in the face of COVID-19, our students are finding new ways to meet their goal of spreading cheer.”

Other clubs and organizations at SJC Long Island are hosting virtual events and meetings, and working on plans to continue their service throughout the semester.

St. Joseph’s College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the College provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility and service. Through SJC Brooklyn, SJC Long Island and SJC Online, the College offers degrees in 50 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.