As the calendar turned to June, Clemson University set in motion its plan for a phased reopening. With that came a limited return of some staff to main campus to carry out essential assignments. Among them were a few members of the residential living team, charged with a two-fold task: facilitate the move-out process for Spring 2020 residents and process residential requests for Fall 2020.

A group of Clemson moms delivered an assortment of sweet treats Monday, June 1 to housing staff in Mell Hall. Pictured, left to right, are Michelle Peterson, Amy Twitty, Kim Merritt, Carmen Burgess and Shelley Mahan.

A group of Clemson moms delivered an assortment of sweet treats Monday, June 1 to housing staff in Mell Hall. Pictured, left to right, are Michelle Peterson, Amy Twitty, Kim Merritt, Carmen Burgess and Shelley Mahan.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

June 1 was the first of more than 30 days dedicated to moving out a campus housing occupancy that exceeds 7,500 students. Conversely, the number of first-year students requesting housing for Fall 2020 has pushed past 4,300.

With that in mind, Carmen Burgess and a group of women — all moms of current Clemson students — decided to show a token of appreciation for their workload.

“I got on the phone with a couple of local businesses, Bruno’s Donut Cafe and The Pound Cake Man,” Burgess said. “They gave us a discount, boxed it up individually and stepped right in to help with what we were doing.”

What the Clemson Moms group did was deliver hundreds of cupcakes and sweet treats to housing headquarters in Mell Hall first thing Monday morning. Burgess was accompanied by several moms from the area, who quietly organized the goodies on the front reception desk as a few staff members worked diligently around them.

A group of Clemson moms set out packages of sweet treats for housing staff in Mell Hall.

A group of local Clemson moms set out packages of cupcakes and doughnuts for housing staff in Mell Hall.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

Burgess created a Clemson Moms page on Facebook in February 2019 and the group has expanded to include more than 2,000 members. The page defines the parents as ambassadors of random acts of kindness, a place to share adventures on campus, answer questions, deliver care packages to sick students and share concerns and accomplishments.

“I started it when my daughter was a freshman at Clemson,” Burgess said. “It started with about 10 moms doing things together — we’d come to campus and bring our dogs. Then it got to be that new parents would hear about us, and it’s just grown. We put together sick bags and deliver care packages on behalf of parents. People donate all of that stuff.”

Burgess was joined on the delivery team by Shelley Mahan, Kim Merritt, Michelle Peterson and Amy Twitty. Prior to the delivery, the group asked moms to chime in with well-wishes for the housing staff who are charged with caring for Clemson students. The moms brought what amounted to 19 printed 8 ½ x 11 pages of supportive comments and laid it alongside a sign saying simply, ‘Thank you.’

“We knew housing was going to be super busy during this time period,” Burgess said. “We thought we should do something for the staff to let them know how much we appreciate them.”