Northern Lights trip
This is my attempt to make a difference by sharing good stories, hoping that they give you some hope and inspiration. And hoping you share them, too, and help spread some light! You can find out more about why I'm doing this on my recent blog RIGHT HERE.
Maybe you can do what the students in this story did, or maybe someone you know can. Or maybe you can just help spread a really nice story...
Remember moving away from home? How you never thought you'd miss mom side-eyeing your outfits or fussing over your food, but how strange it became to not to see a familiar face from day to day?
For students at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, Vicke Davis became that face: a surrogate mother to hundreds of students who passed through her dining hall station each day.
"From the first time I visited, she created a welcoming presence," Quintin Woods, a 20-year-old junior biomedical engineering major, told TODAY.
"She called us her 'Barrett babies.' She was lively. Funny. Friendly. She stood out."
For Davis, who moved to Tempe from Chicago in 2013 to work at ASU, the students became like family, too.
She engaged with them on social media and spent her lunch breaks delighting them with her dance moves."She does a mean Whip/Nae Nae," Woods said, referring to the viral hip-hope dance craze.
Over time, Woods, like many others, developed a personal relationship with Davis.
"I'd see her multiple times a day, so we'd talk current events and check in about how life was going," Woods recalled.
"One time, just for fun, I asked about her dream trip. Her eyes lit up as she talked about the northern lights," he said.
"She had watched a special on TV that talked about how they dance when you dance. And we all know Vicke is the dancing queen."
What started as small talk hatched into a plan: raising money to send Davis, 59, on a trip to see her beloved northern lights, the rippling displays of green, red, yellow and blue light also known as the aurora borealis.
The students saw it as a way of giving back to someone who had positively impacted so many members of the Barrett community.
Woods set up a GoFundMe account and waited until Christmas Eve, when goodwill would be flowing, to circulate the link.
The response was overwhelming.
"We raised over $2,000 in 48 hours," he recalled.
The students printed a giant check for the total of $2,350 and joyfully ambushed Vicke at work to present it.
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