About Us

McMaster Smiling Over Sickness was founded in 2002 with the mission of helping sick children smile. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest and most influential student-run organizations at McMaster, with over 600 general members, 45 volunteers, 20 junior executives, and 13 senior executives. 

We strive to raise awareness and support for pediatric patients through our fundraising and volunteer initiatives. Last year, we raised over $10,000 towards local and national organizations that align with our vision, while our dedicated volunteers collectively performed over 1,500 hours of community service to help bring joy and support for patients and their families at Ronald McDonald House, McMaster Children’s Hospital, Cootes Paradise Elementary School, and the Ron Joyce Rehabilitation Centre, Les Chater YMCA.

In addition, we are also committed to engaging with children in the greater Hamilton Community. We organize large-scale community-building events each year, providing the opportunity for McMaster students to be excellent role models for children in the community and encouraging them to pursue their own community involvement and volunteerism. 

 

Our community contributions have earned our organization the title of MSU Club of the Year during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years. As well, we were honoured to be selected as the 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016 recipient of the J. Lynn Watson Award for Community Service, which recognizes the McMaster student group that has made the greatest contribution towards charitable giving each year. 

With our exceptional fundraising efforts, community engagement, and volunteering initiatives, McMaster Smiling Over Sickness has helped to bring the McMaster community together for a cause that touches the hearts of many students and faculty members. 

Awards

  • 2012-13 and 2013-14 MSU Club of the Year

  • 2016-17 MSU Community Service Awards

  • J. Lynn Watson Award for Community Service 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2022

IMG_3612.jpg

Meet the Team

Hover over the images below to learn more about each member of the 2022-23 executive team!

Photo on 2022-07-12 at 1.01 PM #3 - Yusra Naqvi.jpg

Hello! My name is Yusra (she/her) and I am 1/2 of the Smiling Over Sickness 22/23 Co President Team. SOS holds such a near and dear place in my heart; having been a volunteer in the Ronald McDonald House Committee, and then being the volunteer coordinator last year I have met the most wonderful people, and worked with some amazing community partners! My time on SOS is something I will cherish forever and always. I am so excited for this upcoming year, especially because it will be the first time in a few years we will run a lot more large-scale in person events! I strongly encourage you to shoot your shot and apply to be apart of our SOS family - you won't regret it!

Yusra Naqvi

(she/her) 

Co-President

Sunset Portrait - Square - Neil Lin.jpg

Hi! My name is Neil, and I'm a third-year Health Sciences student. I first joined SOS via the Ronald McDonald House subcommittee because of my deep appreciation for what they do to help sick children and their families. Through my amazing club experience last year, I've come to discover that all of SOS is dedicated to incredible initiatives that bring a smile to children when they need one the most. I'm so excited to work with the superb subcommittees and exec team to further these initiatives and our club mission this year as VP Logistics!

Neil Lin

 (he/him) 

Vice President of Logistics

IMG_8318 - Erica Park.jpg

Being a member of Smile Squad during my first year was truly a rewarding and memorable experience. I am so excited to work with the team this year to continue bringing forth positivity and smiles to children in our community!

Erica Park

(she/her) 

Smiles Squad Coordinator

SOS Ariana Image - Ariana Petrazzini_edited.jpg

Hi! My name is Ariana (She/Her) and I am a second-year Health Sciences student. I enjoy dancing, music, reading and being involved in my various communities! I joined the SOS team in my first year as Dance Director in the Dance Marathon subcommittee and this year I will be enthusiastically taking on the position of Dance Marathon Coordinator. The SOS initiative is one that I hold dear to my heart due to its amazing cause and all the wonderful people it serves. This year I am looking forward to working on an amazing team, with and for the Hamilton community!

Ariana Petrazzini

(she/her) 

Dance Marathon Coordinator

CassandraChan_RonJoyce - uɐɥɔ ssɐɔ.jpeg

Hey everyone! I’m Cassandra and I’m in my fourth year of BDC. I'm incredibly excited to be a part of the SOS team again this year, having initially started in the Ronald McDonald House and then the Ron Joyce Center! I’m so excited to be the Ron Joyce Center Volunteer Coordinator and have a successful 2022-2023. I’m grateful I get to work with such hardworking and amazing individuals and cannot wait to see what this year brings :)

Cassandra Chan

(she/her)

Ron Joyce Centre Volunteer Coordinator

Abarnaa Illango.JPG

Hey! My name is Abarnaa (she/her), and I’m in my fourth year of Health Sciences in the Child Health Specialization. This year I am incredibly excited to be serving as SOS President alongside Yusra. Ever since starting off in the Hospital Arts and Craft Subcommittee during my first year at McMaster, I have been so proud and grateful to be a part of a community dedicated to making a positive impact on the children in the Hamilton community. Looking forward to the great year ahead of us!

Abarnaa Illango

(she/her)

Co-President

masonandersonintropicture - Mason Anderson.jpg

Hi everyone! My name's Mason, and I'm a third-year Health Sciences student. I first joined SOS as a Graphic Designer for the Smiles Squad subcommittee, where I got to work on the creation of an activity book for kids in the Hamilton community, and am now so excited to serve as one of the two Communications and Promotions coordinators! I'm looking forward to the potential return of lots of in-person events this upcoming year, and am so excited to continue to work with our team to bring smiles to children in our community!

Mason Anderson 

(he/him)

Communications and Promotions Coordinator

IMG_0372 - Maddie Dick.jpg

I joined SOS in my first year as a way to work with kids and engage with the Hamilton community. This will be my second year in Smiles Squad, and I am beyond excited for all we have planned! I’m especially thrilled for the potential return of many in-person events and traditions after being online for so long. SOS has been an incredible opportunity and I can’t wait to see what this year brings!

Maddie Dick

(she/her)

Smiles Squad Coordinator

IMG_9196 - Julia Zhu.jpg

Hi everyone! My name is Julia and I'm in my third year of Health Sciences. I started with SOS last year as a member of the Dance Marathon events subcommittee, and am so excited to be a part of the SOS team again as one of the Dance Marathon coordinators! Throughout my experience with SOS, I have loved being able to give back to the Hamilton community, while also combining my passion for dance. I’m looking forward to another year of working with passionate and determined individuals to put together an amazing Dance Marathon!

Julia Zhu  (she/her)

Dance Marathon Coordinator

IMG_4539 - Aleesha Sheikh.png

Hi everyone:) My name is Aleesha, and I'm a third-year Health Sciences student. I am so excited to be one of this year's Fundraising Co-Coordinators alongside Nina! Being on SOS has definitely been my highlight of university. It's such a close-knit, welcoming team and it's been amazing to contribute to a cause so close to my heart. I started on SOS as a Ronald McDonald House Subcommittee member where I had the opportunity to make wonderful friends and support members of my community. This year, I am most looking forward to our fundraising event Shave4ACure! I can't wait to organize in-person events again, and I know it's going to be an incredible year!

Aleesha Sheikh

(she/her)

Fundraising Coordinator

3F998363-A1B8-4C7C-9C79-164D7AC5C67A - Holly Marini.jpeg

Hey! My name is Holly (she/her) and I am in my second year of the Honours Life Sciences Program here at Mac. I am SO excited to be on the SOS executive team this year as the Ronald McDonald House Coordinator! SOS was the very first club that I joined at McMaster and I instantly felt like I was a part of a very special family. Seeing the joy that we have brought to families and their children has been so heartwarming, and I can’t wait to build more amazing memories and see some smiling faces in person this year!💜

Holly Marini

(she/her)

Ravi Headshot - Ravi Verma.jpg

I have been part of the DM subcomittee first as Dance Director and then as a co-coordinator. I joined SOS because I liked its goal of providing smiles to the patients and families of the McMaster Children's Hospital. I have found SOS initiatives to be effective, unique, and diverse as they range from fundraising and directly interacting with the children. This year I am looking forward to more in-person events to engage the Mac community.

Ravi Verma (he/him)

Vice President of Finance

IMG_7226 - Vivien Trinh.JPG

Hello! My name is Vivien (she/her) and I'm one of the Communication & Promotions Coordinators. I am going into my fourth year of BDC. I took a little hiatus from SOS but I started off on the Dance Marathon subcommittee as one of the Directors of Media & Design. I wanted to rejoin SOS for my final year because of how fun and impactful being on SOS can be. I look forward to the new challenges this year will bring and I hope to engage more McMaster students with SOS events and initiatives through promotions!

Vivien Trinh 

(she/her)

Communications and Promotions Coordinator

Josephine Ding - Headshot - Josephine D..png

Hi folks, my name is Josephine or Jo (she/her) and I'm super excited to be a part of SOS again this year as the Hospital Arts and Crafts Coordinator! I first joined SOS in my first year as a Smiles Squad member, before serving as the Communications and Promotions Coordinator for the last two years. I'm looking forward to bringing smiles to the children and families at the McMaster Children’s Hospital with the help of my amazing committee members, and I simply cannot wait to see what our team will achieve together over the next year!

Josephine Ding

(she/her)

Hospital Arts and Crafts Coordinator

7381E026-A3B3-42B8-AE23-1B265C4F2011_1_201_a - Nicole Shen.jpeg

I am so excited to help facilitate the transition back to an in person setting after being a Y Fit 4 U volunteer for the past couple of years. I have loved every moment of volunteering and it makes me so happy to be able to contribute to the fitness goals of youth in the McMaster Children's Developmental Rehabilitation Program. I look forward to collaborating with my wonderful team of volunteers, community partners, and executive members to spread kindness, smiles, and awareness about the importance of inclusive exercise.

Nicole Shen

(she/her)

Y Fit 4 U Coordinator

nina_execintro - Nina Haskin.jpg

Hey everyone! My name is Nina and I am entering my third year of the nursing program! This year, I'm so excited to be taking on the role of Fundraising Coordinator alongside Aleesha! I joined SOS last year as the Social Media/Design Coordinator for Fundraising and I loved it. I made great connections and had so much fun helping to raise funds and awareness for such fantastic organizations. I'm so excited to meet the incoming subcommittee members and I'm looking forward to planning our amazing in-person fundraisers for the year!

Nina Haskin

(she/her)

Fundraising Coordinator

Ronald McDonald House Volunteer Coordinator

 

2021-22 Exec Team

Hover over the images below to learn more about our executive members from last year's team!

Julia Labricciosa.JPG

Hi! My name is Julia (she/her) and I am a fourth year Health Sciences student. I am so thrilled to be serving as SOS President alongside Anjali this year! It has all come full circle- SOS is the first club I joined as a new McMaster student and from the very beginning I really looked up to the leadership and commitment of our exec team. I'm excited to now be in a position to support other students in achieving our shared mission of making a difference in the lives of sick children. I’m looking forward to what this year has in store for us!

Julia Labricciosa (she/her) 

Co-President

Arushi Wadhwa.jpg

Hello everyone! My name is Arushi and I am in my third year of honours Life Science. I am so excited to be this year's VP of logistics! SOS was the first club I joined in my first year as a member of Smiles Squad and I enjoyed it so much that I returned second year as VP finance. I have had the pleasure of seeing SOS grow year after year and I cannot wait to see what new things we have in store!

Arushi Wadhwa (she/her) 

Vice President of Logistics

Yunyi Cui_edited.jpg

Hi there! My name is Yun-Yi and I’m a third-year Health Sciences student here at Mac! I’m beyond excited to serve as this year’s Smiles Squad coordinator alongside Rafay. I joined SOS as a member of Smiles Squad back in first year and had the privilege to interact (both directly and indirectly) with the lovely children and families of the Hamilton community! I’m looking forward to seeing how SOS will evolve in this coming year and I am super excited to continue working with this incredible team. In my free time I enjoy watching anime, annoying my roommate (hehe), and listening to music!

Yun-Yi Cui (she/her) 

Smiles Squad Coordinator

Ravi Verma.jpg

Hello, my name is Ravi and I am in my third year of Integrated Sciences. I joined SOS last year as I loved their simple goal of bringing smiles to patients and families of McMaster Children Hospital. Joining Dance Marathon allowed me to contribute in a way that combined my love for dance and event planning! This year, I am looking forward to working as the Dance Marathon co-coordinator with Baila and our subcommittee to put on an amazing fundraising event!

Ravi Verma

(he/him) 

Dance Marathon Coordinator

Aastha Patel_edited.jpg

Hey there! My name is Aastha and I’m in my fourth year of Honours Biology and PNB at Mac! This year I am excited to be a part of the SOS executive team as the Ron Joyce Centre Volunteer Coordinator. In previous years, SOS has given me a fulfilling experience as a volunteer at Ron Joyce Centre, where I got to interact with some amazing kids and families. I hope as an executive member I can pay it forward and provide great experiences to others! I’m looking forward to seeing what this year brings for SOS!

Aastha Patel

(she/her)

Ron Joyce Centre Volunteer Coordinator

Anjali Sachdeva.png

Hi! My name is Anjali and I am a fourth-year Health Sciences student. I am so thrilled to serve as the SOS President alongside Julia! I first became involved with SOS on the Ronald McDonald subcommittee in the summer after my first year and enjoyed the experience so much I kept on volunteering before serving as the Vice-President last year! I am so proud to be a part of this community that dedicates their time to support pediatric patients and their families. I am looking forward to seeing what amazing initiatives all our SOS volunteers will be up to this year!

Anjali Sachdeva (she/her)

Co-President

Navreet Vander.jpg

Hello! My name is Navreet and I’m entering my fourth year of the Honours Life Sciences Program! I have been involved in SOS since my first year, however, I officially joined last year as a graphics designer for Smiles Squad where we got to make activity books for children in Hamilton. It was so much fun being involved in SOS and I am super excited to be this year’s Promotions Exec, alongside Jo! I am so excited for all that SOS has planned for this year! 

Navreet Vander (she/her)

Communications and Promotions Coordinator

Rafay Mughal.jpg

Hey! My name is Rafay and I am in my third year of the Health Sciences program, specializing in Child Health. I have been a member of Smiles Squad since my very first year at McMaster, and this year, have the privilege of serving as the Smiles Squad Co-Coordinator alongside Yunyi. Having seen the impact our club has on children and their families firsthand, I am committed to furthering our mission: bringing smiles to children’s faces! In my spare time, I enjoy photography, weightlifting, and (devouring) shawarma poutine.

Rafay Mughal (he/him)

Smiles Squad Coordinator

Baila Lovejoy_edited.jpg

Hi y’all! My name is Baila and I’m in my fifth year of Social Psychology with a double minor in Social Justice & Inclusive Communities, and Mental Health, Addictions and Society. I joined SOS last year as one of Dance Marathon’s event directors because I wanted to give back to a cause and community that is super close to my heart! I absolutely loved the experience and am super excited to be working with Ravi as the Dance Marathon Coordinators this year! I know SOS is a team filled with passion and determination and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish this year together!  

Baila Lovejoy (she/her)

Dance Marathon Coordinator

Hayley Patrick_edited.jpg

Hello friends! My name is Hayley and I’m entering my fourth year of Health Sciences, minoring in Psychology. I’m beyond excited to be working alongside Samira as the Fundraising Coordinators this year! My journey with SOS started in my second year on the Dance Marathon subcommittee, which made me so passionate about the club that I returned in my third year as one of the Dance Marathon Coordinators. I am so excited to see how SOS continues to grow with this incredible team and their contagious enthusiasm for supporting so many impactful initiatives! I’m looking forward to an awesome year!

Hayley Patrick (she/her)

Fundraising Coordinator

Yusra Naqvi.jpg

Hey there! My name is Yusra, and I am going into my fourth year of the Honours Life Sciences Program here at McMaster. I am beyond excited to be the Ronald McDonald House Volunteer Coordinator this coming year on SOS 💜 I started my SOS journey back in second year, as a volunteer on the RMH committee. From the moment I first stepped into the RMH for my first volunteer shift, it felt like a home away from my (student) home. Volunteering here is one of my fondest undergrad memories at McMaster, and I am so honoured and excited to take over as the volunteer coordinator this year. I’m looking forward to planning new and exciting ways for our committee to get involved this year, and cannot wait to share these with you! 

Yusra Naqvi (she/her)

Sanya Vij.png

Hey everyone! I’m Sanya and I’m in my fourth year of Honours Life Sciences. I started my SOS journey in second year as a member of Smiles Squad and then was one of the Dance Marathon Co-Coordinators last year! I’m so excited to be VP of Finance and help us run smoothly throughout the year, with whatever 2021 has in store for us. I’m so glad I get to work with such hardworking and amazing individuals and cannot wait to see what this year brings :)

Sanya Vij

(she/her)

Vice President of Finance

Josephine Ding.jpg

Hey everyone! My name is Josephine and I'm going into my third year of Health Sciences. I'm incredibly excited to be apart of the SOS team again this year, having initially started on the Smiles Squad team in my first year as a "Smiley", and now serving as one-half of the SOS promotions coordinators alongside my amazing co Navreet! It's a genuine privilege to help bring smiles to children’s faces and brighten their days- as I've come to realize the small, but impactful difference I can make in their lives. Needless to say, I can't wait to see what our team will achieve together over the next year!

Josephine Ding 

(she/her)

Communications and Promotions Coordinator

Abarnaa Illango.JPG

Hey! My name is Abarnaa, and I’m currently in my third year of Health Sciences in the Child Health Specialization. In my first year, I loved being a part of the Hospital Arts and Crafts Committee, so I am incredibly excited to continue my role as the Hospital Arts and Crafts Coordinator this year. I cannot wait to collaborate with my amazing committee to foster creativity and joy through fun activities with the children and families at McMaster Children’s Hospital. As a member of SOS, I am so fortunate and proud to be a part of a community dedicated to making a positive impact on the children in the Hamilton community. Looking forward to the great year ahead of us!

Abarnaa Illango

(she/her)

Hospital Arts and Crafts Coordinator

Allison Au-Yeung_edited.jpg

Hello! My name is Allison and I’m about to enter my fourth year of Health Sciences at Mac. I’m so excited to be this year’s Y Fit 4 U coordinator, which I first joined in second year to blend my passion for pediatric healthcare and physical fitness. I have loved being a volunteer in this subcommittee because it has given me the opportunity to workout with kiddos and see them reach their personalized goals. I’m really looking forward to bringing rehabilitation to our clients’ homes in a fun, virtual way and hope to see our program expand to reach more kiddos in the Hamilton community :)

Allison Au-Yeung

(she/her)

Y Fit 4 U Coordinator

Samira Sunderji.jpg

Hi friends! My name is Samira, and I’m in my fourth year of the Honours Kinesiology program at McMaster! SOS was the first club I joined as a first year and I’m so grateful for all the experiences, friendships, and memories I’ve been able to create being a part of this club! I began as a Smiles Squad Junior Executive, and was fortunate enough to join the executive team as the Dance Marathon Coordinator and Fundraising Coordinator in my second and third years, respectively. I’m so happy to be back as a Fundraising Coordinator in my final year alongside my co-coordinator, Hayley, and we are both so excited to grow the SOS family with our new subcommittee! Despite some uncertainty in this next year, I’m looking forward to bringing you all some new event ideas, tons of school spirit, and lots of ways to be involved in the McMaster and Hamilton community. Let’s have an amazing year!

Samira Sunderji

(she/her)

Fundraising Coordinator

Ronald McDonald House Volunteer Coordinator