Bama Buddies looks for ‘Bonanza’ participants

Bama Buddies, a UA inter-group service project that creates and customizes stuffed animals for local children, is asking interested organizations or individuals to sign up by Nov. 23 if they want to participate in an upcoming “Bonanza” event.

Bama Buddies is one of the many events put on by the SOURCE, and gives students the opportunity to stuff a small animal toy, complete with a heart, to give to local Tuscaloosa children.

David Phelps, the director of organizational leadership for the SOURCE, said one of the main goals of the Bonanza is to provide a way for student organizations to connect with each other.

“We really want to see collaboration among diverse groups on campus,” Phelps said. “We think stuffing a little animal could be a great ice breaker for starting conversations with people who you might not usually talk to.”

The Bonanzas offer a discounted price of $8 per buddy, which usually costs $10, along with games and socializing among students.

Tyler Morgan, vice president of programs for Sigma Tau Gamma, recently attended a Bonanza with a group of 25 people. He said Bama Buddies is a good way to give back to Tuscaloosa, especially during the holiday season.

“Most people think of the tornado and cleanup, and we thought, ‘There is a lot of focus on that, why not help out others,’” Morgan said. “Instead of focusing on town rehabilitation, why not focus on rehabilitation of childhood? That tends to get overlooked, and is especially important during Christmas.”

The SOURCE hopes to make 800 Bama Buddies this year to share with children through the Rise Center and Tuscaloosa’s One Place.

Bama Buddies will also have opportunities for students not involved in organizations to help out. Look for their mobile building stations at the Iron Bowl tailgate Nov. 24 as well as their Build-A-Thon Nov. 26-30 in the Ferguson Center, Student Rec Center, and in residence halls.

For more information and Bama Buddies schedules, visit thesource.ua.edu/ bama-buddies.