COVID-19 Care Packages

Susan Keiffer and Susan Osha behind completed care packages

1,008 fig bars. 488 handwritten notes. 600 decks of cards. 240 air fresheners. 840 Rice Krispie Treats.

These are some of the components of the 1,000 care packages assembled over the weekend at Millett Hall for on-campus students in quarantine or isolation at Miami.

Susan Osha and Susan Kieffer, both parents of Miami seniors, mobilized Miami parents to come together and make this possible. Over 100 volunteers were involved in the effort.

“We felt we had to do something and knew other Miami parents would feel the same way,” said Susan Osha, parent of a senior Finance and Supply Chain & Operations Management double major. “We’re all part of the Miami Family and we came together, just like the Miami community always does.”

piled packages

Packages were sent from parents all over the country. 

The Susans, as they became known, quickly set up an Amazon wish list and a signup for assembling the packages. The office of parent and family programs worked with intercollegiate athletics to provide a shipping address and assembly space in Millett Hall. Parents were also encouraged to write notes to students for a personal touch.

Then the packages started rolling in. Athletics staff unboxed packages and sent updates. They were soon surrounded by boxes of popcorn, applesauce pouches, and smiley face stress balls.


On Saturday, October 17, volunteers arrived to Millett Hall’s east concourse, where they found eight individual, physically-distanced stations for assembly. Volunteers included individual students, Miami parents, members of Chi Psi fraternity and members of the Miami men’s and women’s basketball teams. They came in hour-long shifts, quickly putting together packages in bags donated by Miami’s Brick & Ivy campus store.

Stations were sanitized between shifts and timed so that one shift of volunteers was gone before another entered the building. Finished packages were placed in boxes to be taken to the quarantine and isolation spaces.

men's basketball team members assembling packages

Volunteers included students, parents, and staff. 

“Being a part of this effort was a privilege and an amazing opportunity to show our Love & Honor to our Miami students affected by COVID-19,” said Susan Kieffer, parent of a senior Psychology major. “In addition to some snacks, we wanted to provide a bit of encouragement and a reminder that they are cared for and can get through this experience.”

Physical Facilities staff will place a package in each room when they clean and reset the room for the next occupant. Students facing 10 to 14 days mostly by themselves will be greeted by a variety of snacks, activities, and positive, caring words from another member of the Miami Family. Students began receiving packages on Monday, October 19.

“We know that being alone for two weeks isn’t fun for anyone,” said Mark Pontious, director of parent and family programs. “This is a beautiful example of the Miami Family coming together to support our students.”

boxes of finished care packages