Members from Cleveland’s First Baptist Church College Ministry stepped up in a big way recently to support the arrival of Delta State’s new contingent of on-campus international students.
Church member Missey Hudson helped coordinate the group effort to purchase and organize what they call the “Dorm Room Essentials” kit.
The idea was presented to Hudson by an international student she met last year through the church’s ongoing efforts to welcome international students.
“What we wanted them to be able to do after an international flight and a two-hour drive from Memphis, was to be able to go into their dorm room, have a snack, take a shower and go to bed — and not have to go to WalMart to pick up the things they need after they’re exhausted and jetlagged,” said Hudson. “We wanted to make sure students don’t have to arrive to an empty bedroom.”
Hudson took the idea to the church’s college minister, and church members came together to donate funds for the kits.
“This was really a group effort,” stressed Hudson. “I had the blessing of coordinating someone else’s idea and everyone else’s hard work.”
The donations included sheets, a pillow, blanket, towel set, a planner and a small bag of snacks.
Marwa Cherraf, an international student from Morocco, was thrilled to receive the welcome gift.
“I was very pleased to get the basket — it meant a lot,” said Cherraf. “There are some international students who don’t know where to go and what to get when they first arrive. This was such a nice gift because it had all the stuff we need, especially for the first couple days. It makes me feel really welcomed as a new international student at Delta State. I appreciate that people want to make sure we feel comfortable and at home.”
To top it all off, Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, boxed everything together in new laundry baskets.
“This was such a kind act from the First Baptist Church,” said Riddle. “It warms our hearts that people in our community want to help welcome our international students. We have a growing international student body at Delta State, and this help will go a long way.”
Hudson said the church’s small act of kindness was a simple way to make the new students feel more at home.
“I’m hoping this idea will grow,” added Hudson. “International students are so far away from home, their friends and their family members. They’re looking to Cleveland and Delta State to form those friendships and family-like connections. As members of the Cleveland community, we can all step up and welcome these folks into our homes and our lives.”
Learn more about International Student Services at https://www.deltastate.edu/student-success-center/international-student-services.