This archived article was written by: Josie Sue Slade
Last semester at USU Eastern the HEART club was established, but it wasn’t until this semester that the club began their mission to make a positive change on campus. The club members, called “heart throbs,” led by students Kira Tadehara and Leslie Reyes, intend to bring awareness to mental illness and make a change at USUE.
Originally students Madison Woodward and Tadehara teamed up to create HEART. Their mission was simple; they wanted to bring together and help at-risk members of USUE’s community. Their intention was to provide a new sanctuary for anyone and everyone going through difficult times. Now in the new semester, this dream started to become a reality.
The first meeting of HEART was on Jan. 30, and attendance included 16 USUE students. Most of the attendees were already friends, but many new friendships were made when students walked in looking for a safe place to talk.
Tadehara said, “I am so excited for HEART and the places it will go. I don’t know what else to say except that this is going to be great.”
With many lively members, HEART meetings are never are boring. Members meet once each week to discuss possible events they can host to bring awareness to mental illness as well as ways to help the community.
Although HEART’s goal is focused on mental illness, members want to reach out to the community and offer their services. Members of HEART plan to visit local retirement homes as well as provide service to anyone else in the community who needs it.
Each week new ideas are thrown out and many events are in the works. HEART members plan to host one major event a month as well as several smaller ones through the weeks. The club aims to keep active, both to benefit HEART’s members and the campus.
Reyes said, “HEART is a great group. We do everything from Valentine’s cards to bon fires. It’s lovely.”
This week, in honor of Valentine’s Day, HEART members put together “happy thought” Valentines to give out to USUE’s community. The hope is that these Valentines encourages positive thinking across campus. A booth is set up in the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center until Feb. 13. The Valentines are free to everyone and HEART encourages students, faculty and staff to stop by and pick one up.
As an introductory event to HEART, members organized a bon on Feb. 27. Throughout February, students may write letters that address mental illness and how it’s affected their lives. The letters will be collected and passed out the night of the bon fire. As a group, people may burn their letters or read them out loud if they wish. Everyone is invited to this event and bringing friends is encouraged.
HEART meetings are every Monday at 9 p.m in the WIB student lounge. Anyone is welcome to the meetings and greeted with open arms. For more information, contact Darrin Brandt at 435.613.5670 or [email protected]. HEART has also started a facebook page “USU Eastern HEART” that posts upcoming events.