Hope Brigade Club prepares for upcoming projects


Jessica Klein

Cindy Chen, the club president, gives a presentation to the members of Hope Brigade Club in room D7.

Jessica Klein, Staff Writer

Over 15,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year, and the Hope Brigade Club is dedicated to reaching out and helping as many of those patients as possible.

Every Friday, students come to room D7 for relaxing games and rewarding opportunities to help cancer patients in need. Members play trivia games or discuss ways to donate their time. The club has two major projects annually: organizing a winter holiday toy drive and making activity kits to send to cancer patients in local hospitals.

“For the activity kits last year, we made friendship bracelets, and we had these little care packages that we gave to the children’s hospital,” said Vienna Huang, a sophomore.

These packages will be made later in the year, sometime during the second semester, and have been made every year since the club began. The kits’ goal is to bring cheer to cancer patients and their families and have the potential to make an impact by giving them both encouragement and an interactive distraction.

“The activity kits are for the Stanford Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Stanford says that the purpose of these kits is for kids waiting for treatment and for the kids’ family members that are waiting with them,” said Cindy Chen, a junior and club president.

The club members will work to make around 60-70 kits each year and are always striving to make more and do better. The activity kits include mostly coloring books, stickers, crayons, or friendship bracelets.

“The kits are really helpful for the kids. They are going out to kids that may not have that much money since their parents are spending so much on their treatment,” said Olga Pyalling, a junior.

These activity kits would not be possible without the club’s dedicated members who are constantly looking for ways to help out and participate. Students are drawn to the club because they want to help cancer patients and spread awareness.

“Usually I help out with toy drives and try to learn how to show people the importance of cancer research,” Pyalling said.

Other club members help with making the gifts and materials that will be sent to the hospitals.

“We try to help as many people as possible,” said Andrey Zaytsev, a junior. “For the activity kits, our main job is [that] we have to use the materials to put the kits together.”

Aside from the activity kits and toy drive, the club is also planning on making hats out of old T-shirts for the patients. They have never done this before but are excited to try it out.

“I got this idea from a video by the American Cancer Society. There was a lady that used an old and large T-shirt, [and] she would cut off the tops of them, cut it in half, and then sew them into hats,” Chen said.

Chen has not yet decided on how many hats to make, but she wants to have as many as possible to donate to various hospitals. The purpose of the hats are for patients that have lost their hair from chemotherapy, who can use the hats as a decorative way to cover their heads.

The club works tirelessly to help as many cancer patients as they can, but they also have a fun and rewarding time doing it. The Hope Brigade Club is not only a way to give back to those in need, it is also an opportunity to be with friends and make a difference.

“I am looking forward to working to help cancer patients and also being able to do it with my friends,” said Nathan Chutczer, a junior.