In keeping with Reinhardt University’s history of uplifting the region, Dr. M. Katrina Smith, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Psychology Program Coordinator, with the assistance of Dr. Simon Peter Gomez, the Year of Cuba Community Co-Chair, Dr. Cheryl Brown, mentor, as well as other faculty members and students, have partnered with the Ball Ground Lions Club to provide meals for children in Cherokee County and plans to expand those efforts internationally with Puerto Rico in mind.
The Ball Ground Lions Club act as Reinhardt University’s ‘boots on the ground’ to facilitate proper distribution of assistance and Reinhardt’s way of knowing what a group of people or institution needs. Recently, Dr. Smith spearheaded the Year of Cuba Festival to bring awareness of Cuban culture to the Reinhardt Campus. Specifically, on the aspects of art, education, healthcare, and especially, the financial well-being of the nation. Dr. Smith said that she had more plans in mind to assist Cuba and Cherokee County through the Ball Ground Lions Club. She said, “I was trying not to do more than one major piece a month because there are so many logistics that go into getting everything, and I don’t want to wear my group down. I do want to keep it in people’s minds that we are, for the whole year, trying to raise money”. However, recent political events have hindered those endeavors. Currently, Dr. Smith wants to bring focus to those affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, in addition, to the children of Cherokee County and Cuba.
Dr. Smith stated that the first financial goal will go towards helping the children of Cherokee County academically, as well as, through food assistance. She said, “I have a goal, and right now we are two-thirds of the way towards the first goal, so we are really pleased with that, but we’ve got some room to grow here, and we’ve got ideas for how to do that.” The first goal is set at
three-thousand dollars with two-thousand dollars having been collected through donations. Once this goal is complete, the next goal will be set at five-thousand dollars with the intent to help the people of Puerto Rico. Dr. Smith relayed that she wished to help more people however those efforts have been hindered by political policies. The Year of Cuba team has stated that they are still selling T-Shirts. Dr. Smith added, “T-shirts are $12 dollars for students, $15 dollars for non-students, and donations are always welcome. Every dime of that goes straight into our donation fund. I want to be sure that we can meet the needs and promises that we had made to the Ball Grounds Lion’s Club.” If you would like to inquire about how you can help or donate, email Dr. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written By: James Gilbert