Gateway Nursing Students Support National Campaign to Help Sick Children
Gateway Community and Technical College nursing students will present a donation to Emily Ruggieri and her family, John, Suzanne, and Gabriel Ruggieri, founders of the national social media campaign GSCOOKIES4CHIP, on March 18 at 11:00 a.m. in room 208 of Gateway’s Edgewood Campus.
Then, they will travel to Children's Hospital of Cincinnati with the Ruggieris and Daisy and Brownie Troop 7295 of Campbell Ridge Elementary School for a presentation of Girl Scout cookies to the director of NJoyItAll Camp, Karen Martin.
Katherine Gibson, president of the Student Nursing Organization (SNO) in cooperation with Nancy Ritzenthaler, Nursing Associate Professor & Skills Lab Coordinator and Melani Stallkamp, Director of Nursing saw Emily’s story on social media and wanted to be part of this worthy project. They brought the idea to Gateway’s SNO Committee. The committee voted to donate $600.00 to kick off this partnership.
Emily Ruggieri, who is from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, has collected donations to buy boxes of Girl Scout cookies for sick kids and their families at Children’s Hospitals of Pittsburgh. What began as a local project has grown worldwide.
Her birth father, Ethan Milliron, had Osteosarcoma and was treated at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, even as an adult. He passed away when he was just 24. Ethan Milliron loved Girl Scout cookies.
“It's a big deal to show something so small can turn into something good,” said Milliron Ruggieri, Emily’s mother.
Emily has been featured on CNN, Nightly News and other media. For the past two years, she has delivered boxes of Girl Scout cookies to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Each year Emily has surpassed her cookie delivery goals. She’s gotten donations from all 50 states and 34 countries. Emily keeps a "Map of Hope" in her home indicating the places from which donations have come.
Emily and her family have a vision of reaching other pediatric hospitals. This partnership with Gateway’s nursing students Children's Hospital of Cincinnati and will be the first time GSCOOKIE4CHIP is on the road and delivering cookies to another pediatric hospital. Emily anticipates this will lead to many more road trips.
“Our hope is through the generous donation of our nursing students, we will make a difference in someone's life,” said Melani Stallkamp, Gateway nursing director. Like Emily, we want to make someone smile, even if it is just for one minute.”
"Emily and I want to see the program grow,” said John Ruggieri, Emily’s dad. “The only way to do this is with TEAM GSCOOKIES4CHP." The new name of Emily’s efforts to include children’s hospitals across the nation.
For more information about this event, or Gateway’s Nursing Program contact Melani Stallkamp, Director of Nursing, 859-815-7797 or [email protected].
- Staff report