When Madelyn Kellen was growing up, her family always performed community service together during the holiday season, whether that meant volunteering at a soup kitchen or helping a family in need. When she went off to Marymount University, the Ashburn native decided to continue the tradition with a dozen of her new friends, who made 22 fleece-tie blankets for a local crisis pregnancy shelter.
This year the project really took off. At a resident assistant service party on Dec. 5, more than 60 Marymount students made 141 blankets for Hope in Northern Va. Inc. The effort was led by Kellen, a resident assistant in Rowley Hall.
Now that Im an RA I was able to expand the project and get other people involved, the sophomore business major said. It was really a wonderful way for us to get into the holiday spirit.
Eight other RAs helped organize the event: Senior J.C. Hoellich; Sophomore Robert Hoffman; Senior Juna Luzi; Senior Chesney Rhodes; Senior Kate Schmidt; Junior Rosemary OConnor; Sophomore Taylor Rivera-Silva; and Graduate Student Elizabeth Beaulieu.
I decided to become a resident assistant because I had a really great RA myself, Kellen said, praising Luzi, who is now a close friend. Ive only been doing it for a semester but already feel that Ive learned so much and grown from the experience.
Kellen chose Marymount because of its Catholic identity and commitment to service.
When I visited I really liked how the school was on the smaller side yet so close to Washington, D.C., she said. I could tell immediately that it felt like a family.
More than 60 Marymount University students made 141 fleece-tie blankets for a local crisis pregnancy center. Several students are shown here at work. Top row, from left: Juna Luzi, Elizabeth Beaulieu and Joanna Chennaile. Bottom from right: Jessie Klien and Maria Camarca.