Battle of the Valleys (BOV) continued its week of fundraising with Greek in the Square on Sept. 29.
Sororities and fraternities joined together in the square to raise money for the Children’s Grief Center through a variety of activities. These activities included pie a sorority member and pet a furry friend.
The Grief Center, based out of Midland, attended with a variety of crafts for students to do. Students were encouraged to make a touch stone that they could look at whenever they were feeling overwhelmed and to take a heart pin.
Social Work Senior Rayanne Clark explained the pin and how it looks different because everyone’s grief journey is different.
“When you experience a death, your heart is left raw and wounded,” Clark said. “There’s string wrapped around it. That string symbolizes you telling your story and working through your grief journey. It holds it together, it’ll never be healed but it helps build that resiliency and strength.”
The string shows that as children and families tell their story, their hearts are slowly healed. They may never be whole again but they’re held back together by the string.
The goal of the pins is to spread awareness. By wearing them around campus, students can start conversations about the Grief Center and the work they’re doing there.
“We offer peer support for children, teens, young adults and families who are experiencing grief and lose,” grief center intern Shelby Decatur said. “Next Tuesday we’ll actually be starting a group on campus as well for students.”
The touch stones were a big hit among students. There were pre-made stones students can take but there were also the materials to make a more personal stone.
“The idea behind them is you write either a small phrase or some kind of word that empowers you,” Decatur said. “It gives you strength in moments where you may be feeling overwhelmed or perhaps emotional. I like to take mine and fidget with it. It says breathe, you’re okay. It reminds me to breathe when I’m feeling overwhelmed.”
The center returned to campus on Thursday to make “calm down bottles” with students. The bottles were made with glitter and can be used to focus on during difficult or overwhelming times.
The Grief Center currently has two locations, besides their main Midland campus, in Bay City and Saginaw. They’re currently working to start an on campus group for grieving students.