University of Akron engineering students donate Valentine’s Day gifts to children affected by chronic illness

Female engineering students from the University of Akron created bags filled with gifts for chronically ill children as part of The Valentine Project.

AKRON, Ohio — Female students enrolled in the University of Akron’s College of Engineering prepared pillowcases full of gifts for 11 children whose lives are affected by cancer or chronic illness. 

The volunteer effort was part of The Valentine Project, a nonprofit that sends gift boxes containing toys, candy and stuffed animals to boys and girls in Ohio and the San Francisco Bay area.

Members of Tau Beta Pi, the university’s engineering honor society, teamed with the Society of Women Engineers, Women in Engineering students, professional engineering mentors and current and former University of Akron faculty for the project. 

Volunteers placed items in one-of-a-kind homemade pillowcases for the children and created bags for the children’s siblings.

“We were honored to be a part of this opportunity and to give these children a little joy during this incredibly difficult time,” Heidi Cressman, director of the Women in Engineering program, said in a news release.

The local Valentine Project headquarters is located in Alliance, Ohio.

The charitable organization’s goal is for all children impacted by chronic illness to “feel special and loved each Valentine’s Day,” according to its website.

The pillowcases are boxed and sent to each child through the nonprofit’s volunteers.

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