CyServe to host first annual Cards for Kids event at Winterfest

Audrey Nelson

CyServe Council is hosting its ‘Cards for Kids event,’ as a part of WinterFest on Dec. 1. The event will take place in the Cardinal Room in the Memorial Union from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The cards will be donated to ChildServe, a care center and service provider for “children and young adults who have a wide variety of developmental delays, disabilities, acquired injuries and other special healthcare needs.”

This year is the first year the event will be held as part of WinterFest, but the club hopes to make it an annual event. Angela Severino, a sophomore in marketing and the public relations representative for CyServe, said last season they were able to collect over 100 cards. Since the event will be a part of Winterfest, she said CyServe is aiming to collect more than 200 cards this year.

Supplies to create the cards will be provided.

“I know they’ve told us in the past the kids really enjoy the cards,” Severino said. “They think it’s cool [the cards are] coming from Iowa State students because kids look up to older people.”

Severino said the cards will probably be delivered to ChildServe Monday. The CyServe team will be looking through the cards Friday night to make sure all the cards have inclusive messages

“They can just write ‘happy holidays.’ You can’t really write any certain holiday. They can still draw a picture of Santa Clause and a Christmas tree; they just have to be very inclusive in their word choice,” Severino said. “We’re going to make sure we’re clear on that when people come to volunteer.”

When asked to address people who find the restrictions on saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to be a violation of their values, Severino emphasized the focus on inclusivity of all holidays at the event. 

“It’s just because we don’t know what religion certain people are, and we just don’t want to be rude. Writing ‘Merry Christmas’ on the card could offend somebody,” Severino said. “I understand that a lot of people do like to celebrate Christmas, but we should be respectful that other people might not. Just writing ‘Happy Holidays’ is a good way to address everybody and not just a certain religion or group of people.”

CyServe’s mission is to provide service opportunities to students at Iowa State and in surrounding areas in an easily accessible manner.

Their biggest events are their CyServe Days that take place every semester. CyServe provides transportation to the volunteer site for approximately 150 volunteers. Severino said turnout is continuing to grow.

Cards for Kids is one of CyServe’s “drop in and serve” events. Another one of these projects the club has sponsored was Project Linus, which makes blankets for kids in hospitals. They’ve also worked with Raising Readers, a childhood literacy organization.

“I think people should come and make cards because the kids that they [the cards] are going to really need a little bit of spirit around the holidays,” Severino said.