The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Homecoming Queen Launches Service Project

Each year, Homecoming kings and queens are required to complete a service project that they pitched during their campaign.

"During the holiday season, I feel that children will not be able to erase the memories of September 11, so that inspired me to coordinate the HEELing Hearts project," she said. "In my sorority (Delta Sigma Theta), much of our service focuses on children, and that also helped spearhead the project."

The goal of Higginbotham's service project, which is being done in conjunction with the Black Student Movement and the senior class, is to fill a charter bus with toys and handmade "Thinking of You" cards to give to children of victims of Sept. 11.

"After September 11, it seemed as if the whole nation was unified," she said. "With this project, I hope to unify our campus community in order to create a better outlook on the future."

Higginbotham said the project required careful planning. The service project had to be a large part of the campaigning process for Homecoming queen, she said.

"I knew that proper planning was key; without that, the project would not have been implemented," Higginbotham said.

Members of the BSM and the senior class will be accepting handmade cards and unwrapped toys for HEELing Hearts today in the Pit and Saturday in the New Hope Commons Shopping Plaza on U.S. 15-501.

HEELing Hearts will collect toys and cards until Dec. 16. The gifts will be taken by Higginbotham to New York on a charter bus Dec. 17.

"We encourage resident assistants to participate in the project by holding toy and card drives in the resident halls," Higginbotham said.

She said the senior class and the BSM have played a large part in the service project. In addition, Communiversity, an after-school outreach program, carried out by UNC students who bring local youth to campus, also assisted with the project.

The children in the after-school program made cards for the children in New York, Higginbotham said.

She said HEELing Hearts also has invited teachers and classes in local school districts and churches to participate in the project.

Homecoming representatives are given until next semester to complete their service projects. Because the HEELing Hearts project will be finished before Winter Break, Higginbotham said she plans to help UNC Homecoming King Thurston Cherry complete his project and serve as an ambassador between various organizations on campus.

"This will help organizations bridge the gap and bring unity among its members," Higginbotham said.

She said the project still would have been completed even if she had not won the Homecoming queen title.

She said, "Even if I wouldn't have been elected as UNC Homecoming queen, the HEELing Hearts service project would have still been carried out because of my passion to work with children."

The University Editor can be reached at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for November 20, 2023