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NOSA Easter Egg Hunt

The Easter Bunny visited the University of Missouri-St. Louis a day early to hide eggs outside the Thomas Jefferson Library on Saturday, April 19, 2014.  The event sponsored by the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) and the Delta Gamma Foundation hosted the Easter Egg Hunt for children with visual impairments.

Last year the event was recognized nationally as the best service project for NOSA.  The egg hunt featured candy filled eggs and chirping eggs that children with visual impairments could hear while hunting.  In addition, each child received a Easter basket filled with goodies.  Now in its sixth year, the egg hunt is growing and hopes to reach out to more children next year.

The event attracted over 40 children with one family traveling over 100 miles to attend the hunt.  NOSA President Deli Shirazian feels Saturday's egg hunt could not have gone any better.  "We had almost 40 children both visually impaired and their siblings attend the hunt," she said.

In addition to the egg hunt, they also had a craft and tactile activities, lots of eggs and even the Easter Bunny made an appearance.  "We also had several student volunteers, some not even members of NOSA help the children find eggs and create crafts.  Some of the faculty and staff from the college of optometry attended as well," Shirazian said.  

The weather was absolutely awesome for the event and Shirazian reflected on the event, "It  was amazing to see so many people come out for such an amazing cause and to ensure that each child had the best Easter egg hunt experience possible."  Volunteer Elizabeth Phillips ('16) echoed the sentiments of Shirazian,  "The most touching experience for me was being able to help visually impaired children experience and enjoy something that many children are able to do every year to celebrate Easter," she said.

Children with visual impairments deserve to be able to hunt Easter eggs like every other child and this hunt, which is unlike any other allows them to be a kid, "With beeping eggs, children who are visually impaired can experience the joy of running around finding the eggs, just like most children do" Shirazian said.  The hunt is also important for the members of NOSA as they prepare to become optometrist,  "It is our chance to give back to our community and to volunteer our time for events like this" said Shirazian.

As the children left the egg hunt with a basket full of goodies, parents also had the opportunity to sit back for a moment and watch the joy of Easter fill the hearts of their child.  Shirazian who was overwhelmed with happiness said, "The children and the families came up to me and thanked me for hosting the event and they expressed having a wonderful time."  The egg hunt not only brought out the children, but also fell optometry students to help take part in the egg hunt.

Giving back to the community is part of the vision for the College of Optometry. Phillips, who volunteered on Saturday said, "The egg hunt is an important way for us to be able to spend time with visually impaired children and their families and show how much we care about these sweet children." 

The eggs have stopped chirping and the Easter bunny has returned to his den for another year of rest and with the help of NOSA, Delta Gamma and many volunteers the smiles of happiness are probably still on the children's faces long after the egg hunt ended.




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