TJ Sends Love hosts first meeting

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Photo courtesy of TJ Sends Love

The new 8th period club TJ Sends Love hopes to engage students in activities that help the community. “We both thought that it’s really lonely to be there [hospitals] because, during that time, a lot of hospitals weren’t allowing visitors. I thought it would be really lonely to stay there for such a long time during the pandemic– especially as a kid. So, we wanted to do something to help cheer them up,” sophomore Katelyn Chen said.

Evelyn Li, Staff Writer

TJ Sends Love, Jefferson’s newest service club, had its interest meeting on Friday, Jan. 8. Sophomores Kritika Khati and Katelyn Chen, the co-founders of this club, came up with the idea of designing cards for hospital children during the summer.
“TJ Sends Love is a community service club which focuses on helping children’s hospital patients and staff with sending love to them through cards, letters and care packages,” Chen said.
Although the pair encountered multiple hurdles while trying to approve the club, they decided not to wait to begin their project. Instead, the co-founders started the club immediately as an afterschool program.
“We started months ago. We met once a week for about an hour and made cards together on Zoom. It worked out great. We had around 30 people, and they sent some really lovely cards and said some really nice things in them,” Khati said. “We were really shocked when we saw our club on iON. It was a couple of days ago, so we had to get everything prepared for the meeting– like presentations and Facebook posts.”
Consequently, some students who attended the interest meeting were already familiar with TJ Sends Love.
“I’ve been to a few of the meetings, which used to be right after school on Fridays. Now, it’s actually a part of the eighth period,” sophomore Sophia Go said.
During the interest meeting, TJ Sends Love expressed their goal of creating a peaceful environment where students can destress while sending love to children in hospitals. Compared to the intense atmosphere of STEM activities, this club provides a refreshing view on community service.
“We really wanted it [TJ Sends Love] to be a community where we can bring our supplies, share food, and make cards together,” Chen said.
Furthermore, TJ Sends Love discussed the progress of their current project – card making. Many students enjoyed the simple idea of creating individual cards for children at hospitals.
“I think making cards is a really simple project that could make a difference in someone’s day and I think that’s what’s really neat about it,” sophomore Irene Ko said.
Though the club is currently running smoothly, Chen and Khati put tremendous amounts of effort into starting up the club.
“It was difficult in the beginning because we didn’t have any connections. So, we had to reach out through those corporate emails that they put on websites, and you don’t know if anyone will really read those. Additionally, during the summer, the restrictions were even tighter than they are now. It was hard trying to figure out how we would collect the cards since recreation centers and libraries wouldn’t let us put drop-off boxes,” Chen said.
After a successful interest meeting, the duo hopes to further their aspirations and continue their journey with the help of new club members.
“I’m glad that our club meets during school now,” Khati said. “We hope that people can come and be able to find a place where they can relax and do something nice for other people.”