posted on Nov. 28: Student-driven SOS makes sick children smile


[img_inline align=”right” src=””]Their mandate is to make children smile.

So 17 of them shaved their heads to make people do just that.

And in the process, the Shave for a Cure campaign raised almost $6,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society earlier this month at the Yates Cup championship football game.

The hair-razing campaign was just one of several initiatives sponsored by Smiling Over Sickness (SOS), a McMaster Students Union club created last year to fundraise for organizations that work with children with various illnesses.

In addition to raising awareness and money (about $15,000 so far), students organize weekly events for children at the McMaster Children's Hospital.

Arif Manji, one of the founders of SOS, organized the Shave for a Cure campaign (and had his head shaved), which he hopes will become an annual event.

SOS president Shaheen Bhaloo echoes the feelings of some of the 500 students who have participated in SOS events: “(This) gives me so much energy and great satisfaction. The SOS exec and its members all have the same goal: that is to help bring awareness of various children illnesses on campus and throughout the Hamilton community and of course to bring a smile to a child.”

Hair-razing work: Top row: Julie Gazzola, Damian Suffoletta, Mike Corey, Chris Amis, Evan Mackintosh, Dave Ross, Matt Churchward, Katarina Bebic; Bottom row: Paul Van Huss, Vikram Ravindran, Jen Thomas, Arif Manji, Katie Lutz, Sam Ibrahim; Absent: Chris Orlesky, Karin Randall, Stew MacNeil.