Golden Flashes Making a Difference at Home

When graduates found out Alumni Day of Service was cancelled because of precautions surrounding COVID-19, they still wanted to spread kindness and cheer in their communities. Two proud alumni share what compelled them to give back.

Making Capes for Kids

Alumna Jessie, her son, Ross and her husband posed in Alumni Day of service t-shirts

Jessie Cottage, ’11, was excited to volunteer at Kids Capes of Courage in Kent for Alumni Day of Service. When she heard the event was cancelled, she still wanted to do something fun at home to bring smiles to children.

Jessie got her family involved and made 14 capes for kids with congenial heart defects.
Photo of the capes that were made by the alumni for Alumni Day of Service (at home)

“My husband and I picked out a few designs that we liked. I printed them off on my Cricut and we both ironed the designs onto the capes. Our son, Russell, helped pick out the colors schemes,” Cottage said.

It was important for her family to support a cause close to their hearts.

“Russell was born with a congenital heart defect. My husband and I never left the hospital. There were many donated items for people in our situation and one item was a pillowcase that Russell still uses today.”

Learn More about Kids Capes of Courage


Volunteering in Texas

Alumni wearing Flashes Give Back t-shirt, holding Kent State pennant flag

For last year’s Alumni Day of Service, Wendy Wright, ’86, from Richardson, Texas, participated in her own service project by making mats for the homeless using plastic bags.

She still wanted to give back in her community this year, despite Alumni Day of Service being cancelled.

“There are so many ways to help others even if we have to stay home,” Cottage said. “I am in the process of making another mat for the homeless.”

In addition to making mats, Wright made 25 no-sew fleece throws for kids in a Texas school district who lost everything in a 2019 tornado.

“We had a tornado on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, that hit parts of Dallas and Richardson and the surrounding area. Ten tornados touched down in North Texas that night,” Richardson said. “The one that stretched from Dallas to Richardson had, at one point, 140 mph winds, and was rated as an EF-3. It lasted nine minutes and left a trail of damage and despair 16 miles long.”

Wright was disappointed Alumni Day of Service was cancelled because she knows many good things can happen when Golden Flashes pitch in to help.

“I hope other people have found things to do at home,” Wright said. “I love Alumni Day of Service – what greater purpose do we have than to help our neighbors?”

POSTED: Monday, April 27, 2020 - 9:39am
UPDATED: Friday, May 1, 2020 - 9:05am
Ashley Whaley '06, M.Ed. ‘12