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Huntsman Cancer Institute receives very unique donation from USU Business Council on Friday

staff writer

Published: Monday, November 18, 2013

Updated: Monday, November 18, 2013 23:11

The Business Council of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business made a donation on Friday to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, sending letters of encouragement, sleeping masks and origami flowers.


“I'm estimating 2,000 letters, 600 sleeping masks, and about 500 flowers,” said Jameson Olsen, a member of the Business Council and vice president of professional development.


The Business Council, Olsen said, serves the HCI for two reasons.


“One, because it's a way for us to directly show our appreciation to the Huntsman family for all that they have done for the business school here in Logan,” Olsen said. “The donations he has made, as well as the work he does for us as an ambassador and promoter, are immensely cherished by those of us at the Huntsman School of Business.”


Olsen said the Business Council enjoys doing service projects that directly help those in need.


“This project allows us to donate goods that go straight to the hands of cancer patients, whereas monetary donations sometimes get used for other purposes,” Olsen said. “In past years we had just done fundraising drives for the HCI, but we didn't like how cold it felt.”

Olsen said the council’s project is the perfect service opportunity for college students on a budget.

“College students are poor, so any monetary donation is a great thing, but it doesn't take much effort or concern to reach in your pocket and put a couple bills in a container,” he said. “We wanted to do something that directly connected cancer patients to students and something that helped students think a little bit more about who they were helping. That is why, beginning last year during Business Week, we started doing these craft projects instead.”


The Business Council contacted the HCI about needed items or items that would give patients a bit of joy, said Blanca Raphael, the HCI patient and family resources manager.


“Last year they made hundreds of origami style flowers using 4-by-4 (inch) sheets of scrapbooking paper,” Raphael said. “They turned out beautiful and the patients appreciated them, especially those patients that are not allowed to have fresh flowers — it really cheered them up.”


The group also wrote hundreds of get-well notes that were passed out to the patients, Raphael said. Along with the notes and origami flowers, the group made fleece blankets.  


“These are always our biggest need since we give them to patients that have completed their chemotherapy treatments, their radiation oncology treatments or have just received a bone marrow transplant,” Raphael said. “The patients cherish the blankets, as they symbolize warmth and support from the community.”   

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