This Friday, Oct. 30, ETSU’s Kappa Sigma will be volunteering with the Niswonger Children’s Hospital to help with their annual “Spooky Trail” that allows the children to have Halloween fun with a trunk or treat set up with candy and toys.
Kappa Sigma is the first organization not just with ETSU but in the Johnson City community that has volunteered to table a booth and actively participate in the Spooky Trail festivities.
Kappa Sigma is tabling a “Duck Dynasty” themed booth with candy and interactive activities.
“We raised some quick cash, about $65, and we’re using that to help buy enough candy and toys to make sure there is plenty for everyone, because you know you can never be too prepared with kids,” said Leigh Nutter, Kappa Sigma public relations chair.
The staff at Niswonger Children’s hospital were thrilled to have the opportunity to gain fresh young faces as volunteers to work directly with the sick children.
“This is my first semester as the service chair for Kappa Sigma, and I really wanted to find something that first off would put Kappa Sigma’s name out there but would more importantly give back to the community,” said Zachary Smith, Kappa Sigma service chair. “It just kind of dawned on me that I should try contacting Children’s Hospital.”
Once Smith came up with the idea to try working with Niswonger Children’s Hospital, he contacted the hospital and they almost immediately started planning for Kappa Sigma’s involvement with the Spooky Trail event.
“We realize that some of the children are bedridden and aren’t capable of walking around so we came up with the idea to have a ‘special team’ of Duck Dynasty members that go around to the different rooms and visit the children, taking toys, candy and games,” Smith said.
Both the hospital staff and Kappa Sigma members have reacted so enthusiastically to the idea of the organization participating in the event, they are now discussing the possibility of making this a monthly tradition.
The goal is to build relationships and facilitate one-on-one interactions with the children, especially the ones who are required to stay in the hospital for extended amounts of time.
“We’re not doing this to seek attention or notoriety, but with everything that’s happened in the Greek community and the negative publicity that it gets, I think it’s important for the community to see the positive things and the good work that we are doing,” Nutter said.
Kappa Sigma will arrive at Niswonger Children’s Hospital on Thursday at 8 a.m. to set up for the event until 5 p.m.
The actual Spooky Trail event will take place Friday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., due to the large amount of children who have procedures in the afternoon and evening.
“First and foremost this is all about the kids,” Nutter said. “Even if this wasn’t for Kappa Sigma or through ETSU, I would still want to help out with this simply because it’s such a great cause. These kids are stuck in here and won’t get to go out and trick or treat and experience Halloween, so we’re bringing Halloween to them.”