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.
Meet the Team
Hover over the images below to learn more about each executive member!
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)
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
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
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!
Dance Marathon Coordinator
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
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)
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
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
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
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)
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)
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 :)
Vice President of Finance
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!
Communications and Promotions Coordinator
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!
Hospital Arts and Crafts Coordinator
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 :)
Y Fit 4 U Coordinator
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!