University of Miami students, faculty, staff and members of the community packed themselves under a tent on the Foote University Green Wednesday afternoon to learn about different resources both on and off campus that pertain to well-being.
The Wellness Fair, part of the Week of Well-Being, brought together different area organizations and businesses to share their services with attendees. The event was designed to target all areas of well-being, including physical, mental, spiritual, financial and communal.
The Cards for a Cause booth was focused on communal health; participants wrote uplifting greeting cards for children and military veterans. Sheri Virok, the event coordinator and benefits manager for UM’s human resources and benefits office, said the project started as a simple idea.
“We’ve had an unbelievable response to them — everyone wants to write on a card,” Virok said. “Hopefully, it will make someone feel a lot better.”
The cards will be delivered to different children’s and veteran’s hospitals later next week. Virok approximates that the number of cards delivered will be in the thousands. One of those cards delivered will be one that senior Isabella Fiermonte wrote for an injured veteran. She said she took the time while writing to think about her well-being and others.
“They give up their well-being for all of us,” Fiermonte said. “It’s the least any of us can do. We have to be thankful for what we have.”
University-affiliated booths were not the only ones taking part in the Wellness Fair as outside organizations and companies were invited to showcase their products. Some of the booths present ranged from a gourmet food delivery service to massage therapy. Both were among the more popular booths at the fair. Freshman Morgan Boone said that one of the reason she stopped by the fair on her way to class was because the variety of different booths, including the massage therapy booth, intrigued her.
“I saw that they were giving massages,” Boone said, “Who wouldn’t want a mid-day massage along with food to keep your wellness in check?”
All of the Week of Well-Being events are part of an effort to raise awareness and participation in wellness within the UM community and to change habits, according to Student Accounts Advisor Shaming Gilmore.
“It’s important to always keep exercising wellness as part of your lifestyle,” Gilmore said. “If you’ve tried something that doesn’t work, try something different.”