| Tri Beta Students Crochet Toys for Children |
Students at the University of St. Thomas are making amigurumi crochet toys for children at Casa de Esperanza, the House of Hope for children.
The Tri Beta Biological Honor Society at UST organized the event under the supervision of Alexandra D. Simmons N., assistant professor of biology.
Amigurumi is the art of crocheting small stuffed animals or dolls. Simmons started a crochet club in November where she teaches students how to make the toys.
The professor started crocheting two years ago after trying her hand at knitting and discovering crocheting to be more rewarding. She made her first toy, a little angel, for a new baby cousin. Last December a friend held a toy drive for Casa de Esperanza during a white-elephant party. This was the inspiration for her own toy drive, but with a twist: Instead of purchasing regular toys, she wanted to make them.
“I believe we imprint the feeling of love in the things we create,” Simmons said. “These toys will offer kids comfort and encourage them to play together and connect.”
Cecilia Dao, a Tri Beta member, said that even though crocheting departs from her focus on biology, it is a joy to fulfill her duty towards her community, especially around Christmas. “It is good to reach beyond what is familiar and comfortable so that we may challenge ourselves to be better individuals,” Dao said.
Casa de Esperanza offers residential, physical and mental care for children in crisis due to abuse, neglect or HIV.
The students and Simmons aim to make this an annual event at UST.
Tri Beta participated earlier this year in other charity activities such as the Houston Zoo Boo and a blanket drive for the homeless.
Simmons also has a box outside her office at Anderson 204, where anyone can donate new or gently used toys for the toy drive. The event will last until mid-December.
Story by Hanan Taha