Efforts to bring hope, joy

A stuffed teddy bear sits wearing an angel pendant.

It seems simple and it may be, but three students are determined to bring this joy to 100 children who have leukemia or lymphoma disease.

With a fundraiser junior Ashley Ramirez, sophomore Rachel Jeske and sophomore Rachel Jaster are set on helping children and bringing doctors one step closer to a cure.

Junior communication major Ashley Ramirez got inspiration for the cause
after attending a Passion conference where she felt moved to do something on campus. An e-mail from Dr. Diane Howard set the project in motion.

She said, “This fundraiser has literally been my life since the very first day of class.”

Through Dr. Howard, Ramirez met Kiara Burns, a casting director on a campaign for children who have the diseases. Ramirez hopes to help Burns

Students Ashley Ramirez, Rachel Jaster and Rachel Jeske hold an example of the pendant they will be giving out to children who suffer with leukemia and lymphoma disease in Austin area hospitals starting in April.

Students Ashley Ramirez, Rachel Jaster and Rachel Jeske hold an example of the pendant they will be giving out to children who suffer from leukemia and lymphoma disease in Austin area hospitals starting in April. Photo by Jasmine Austin

in every possible way she can.

“I want to get her a hundred pendants. I will work as hard as I can. I don’t want to let her down,” she said.

Ramirez thinks this is a great opportunity for them to show love.

“I want people to see Christ’s glory shining through us,” she said.

Almost $700 has been collected, and the women hope to reach $4,250.

Ramirez functions as organizer and has been working on getting area youth groups involved.

They hope to get students to donate $1. Everyone who gives to the cause will have he or she’s name written on a ticket and put on a board with all the other tickets which will be given to the hospital.

They “were my idea, and they alone took weeks to make,” Ramirez said.

They plan to give out the bears and pendants starting the first weekend in April at Dell Children’s Hospital and Specially for Children in Austin.

Donations will be taken through March, and information about the effort can
be found on the Facebook page, Angel Pendants for Children with Leukemia.

Sophomore performance studies major Rachel Jeske was eager to help when approached by Ramirez.

“I thought it was a great idea to not only be able to help kids and show them
that God loves them, but also to help show God’s love and provision to (Ashley) who first approached us with this idea,” she said.

Jeske’s involvement has included a commercial to spread the word.

“We thought it would be a funny way to make people aware of this fundraiser and help them remember the slogan of “just a dollar” and how much good that could do for the kids. I hope it made people remember the value of a simple dollar and ability they have to make a difference,” she said.

Sophomore social work major and 2010 Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor Rachel
Jaster was happy to see her friend so passionate.

“It was evident that God has assigned Ashley to accomplish this task….
Because she had been praying about it and pursuing it already, I decided to hop on board,” she said.

Jaster feels she has learned a lot.

“I feel like I’ve been blessed with new leadership skills, an appreciation for fundraisers, and a compassion for supporting people,” she said

Jaster admits before the opportunity she never really had a heart for the fundraiser sort of thing.

“(It) has been so much more than a chance to beg people for money and see if we could reach our goal…. I am a part of something huge, … and something that is so simple but so important at the same time,” she
said. “God has certainly put us on a mission, a mission to show the power of his love and hope that comes from experiencing it.”

Author: Lauren Piercey

Lauren is a senior Mass Communication/Journalism major with a minor in Art and English. She is from the extremely small town of Plantersville, TX where she grew up with her two younger sisters and an assortment of animals. She became the transitions page editor after finally caving into joining the staff. She loves writing and is confident God will help her find a job after graduation in May. She also enjoys cooking, reading and tripping over her own two feet.

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