Campus crafts fair offers ways to de-stress and connect

Publication Date

Make a peace crane or a kindness card. Decorate a tea mug. Hug a therapy dog.

These activities and others will make up the first Mind, Body, Spirit Crafts Fair Friday, Nov. 12, noon-2 p.m. in Hale House.

An illustration of a flower

The event, which coincides with World Kindness Day, is sponsored by Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Wicker Wellness Center, Kenney Community Center and First-Year Experience. The entire campus community is invited to participate.

“We want to provide a space for our students and Union community members to de-stress, and to take care of our minds, bodies and spirits, especially during this pandemic,” said Christa Grant, assistant dean for Intercultural Affairs. “This event provides an opportunity for us to come together and connect, and literally take a necessary break."

“As we approach the end of fall term, we recognize students, faculty and staff are busy and very much in need of a little down time,” said Amanda Tommell-Sandy, assistant director for health promotion at the Eppler-Wolff Counseling Center. “We wanted to offer an opportunity to step away and engage with something fun and creative while promoting holistic wellness.”

The activities represent a number of wellness, restorative and healing concepts.

Timothy Coombs, Protestant chaplain, will guide participants in decorating luminaria to convey the concept of light, while Hillel Director Bonnie Cramer will oversee a session that involves creating paper mandalas “where we use the concept of centering to bring light and color into darkness.”

In other paper crafts, Hillel President Hannah Epstein ’22 will demonstrate how to make peace cranes, and Tina Lincer, associate director of Communications and Marketing, will lead a session on crafting collage greeting cards that can be used to spread messages of kindness and gratitude.

Laiky Rubin, co-director of Union Chabad, will help participants create tzedakah, or charity, boxes, to highlight generosity.

In addition, tables will be set up for designing cord bracelets with words of encouragement, and the Kenney Center will staff a button-making table. The First-Year Experience will set up a tea table, while the Wicker Center will provide mugs that can be decorated. Therapy dogs Margot, Mally and Sparky will be on hand to offer a little furry love and joy.

For many who are steeped in end-of-term busyness, the few hours to unwind and detach from all things digital will be a blessing. And in fact, the concept of blessings will also be covered at Friday’s event.

Led by Peter Gabak, senior major gifts officer and associate director of gift planning, participants will have an opportunity to write their sentiments, notes of appreciation or prayers on pieces of decorative ribbon.

“These will be tied to a branch so that together, all our blessings and prayers will uplift the entire Union family,” he said.