Founded in 1967, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is a nationwide society in which college students who are due paying members are able to enhance their education, broaden their network and launch their professional career. PRSSA is composed of 7,000 students across the United States, Argentina, Columbia and Peru.
As young college students, public relations practitioners and members of PRSSA- University of Mount Union Chapter, they have felt much heart ache created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Obtaining a college education during a pandemic requires immeasurable amounts of adaptation and change. This is not just true for college students, but many others as well. Most notably, senior citizens living in residential care facilities have had to adapt to a year of isolation and separation from their families.
Auburn Skilled Living, a local nursing home in Damascus, OH is no exception to this. Jennifer Zamarelli, marketing director of Auburn shared that the facility is always looking for COVID-19-safe opportunities for their residents.
“Every day is a new adventure here,” Zamarelli said. “The residents are hopeful for the day their families can visit again. Despite great change, our mission is to continue creating a loving community for the residents, even amidst a pandemic.”
Emily Cooney ’21, Brenna Walker ’21, Bailey Balderson ’21 and Peyton Zamarelli ’22 are all executive members of PRSSA. They have been on the lookout for a meaningful service project this semester. At the time, Valentine’s Day was quickly approaching, and partnering with a local nursing facility would not only spread love this season, but also grant PRSSA members the opportunity to volunteer their time for the betterment of others. That is where “The Love Communication” volunteer project began.
Nearly all PRSSA members attended the volunteer event, and some brought additional friends to help out. Collectively, the students were able to make 200 cards to send to the facility. Not only this, but they included some extras to thank the staff for all of their hard work during the pandemic.
Not only did the residents and staff receive handmade messages of love, but PRSSA received national recognition by PRSSA- National for their efforts across all national social channels, which inhabit thousands of followers and connections. The members of PRSSA were so thankful for the opportunity to give to those in need while excelling as a chapter.