On Sept. 27, the floor of Career Planning Suite, located in the Student Activities Building, was covered in an array of brightly colored fabrics as well as a team of resourceful young women working diligently to piece them together.
The Saint Leo Women’s Lacrosse team and their coaches, in conjunction with the School of Education & Social Services (SESS), gave back to the community by making baby blankets for the mothers staying at the Sunrise Domestic and Sexual Violence Center.
According to Dr. Joanne Crossman, a professor of education and the academic advisor for the Women’s Lacrosse team, “We hope that the women who come to the Sunrise Pasco shelter will select a blanket for their baby or toddler and find colors and soft fabrics. We hope this small gesture helps the women to know that our Saint Leo community supports them during this difficult time in their lives.”
The blankets were made by double-layering pieces of colored fleece, which was donated by the SESS, and then cutting the edges into strips before tying them. The women of the lacrosse team seemed to enjoy the experience and found it useful as a team-building exercise.
“I enjoyed working together with my teammates to get these blankets done. We had lots of fun, but we got a lot done too,” said Alex Alvarez, a junior social work major.
The event concluded with a speech by Amanda Markiewicz, the Green Dot program coordinator, who also accepted the blankets on behalf of the Sunrise Center.
The Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program was founded by Dr. Dorothy Edwards. According to their website, the program trains people about sexual assault and domestic violence on college campuses, primary and secondary schools, and in communities. As leaders in violence prevention, they provide training, technical assistance, and program development for individuals, schools, and organizations both domestically and internationally as they work to foster safe communities.
For Sunrise, the program intends to create a culture where violence is not tolerated by students, staff, or faculty. Through this program, Sunrise asks the Saint Leo community to consider their role in prevention and gives them the tools to actively respond to those situations, understand obstacles to action, and learn proactive and reactive skills to respond to those situations. Sunrise believes that youth will be role models and leaders in preventing interpersonal violence in their schools and communities.
Crossman says that her students have benefitted from Sunrise’s presentations regarding domestic and Hallsexual violence, and she hoped from the presentation, the athletes would learn about the Green Dot Strategy that Sunrise established at Saint Leo University to foster the core value of community.
Jody Madisen, a junior marketing major, said, “I found the experience eye-opening. It was a good way to not only give back to the community but also to learn something new in the process.”
The team donated twenty-five blankets in total to the center and gained knowledge that they can apply to their everyday lives in return.