Students from the Orvis School of Nursing held a canned food drive this fall to help their partnering organization, Sierra Manor, a local retirement and assisted-living home for senior citizens.
For the fourth year, third semester Orvis students, under the leadership of associate professor Wei-Chen Tung, collected nonperishable food items and toiletries for underserved senior citizens in the local area.
The canned food drive ended with a small celebration on Oct. 30 at Sierra Manor, when students held raffles, dressed up in Halloween costumes and decorated small booths where residents could 'trick-or-treat' for any items they needed.
"The reaction of the seniors is very receptive. They usually spend their entire day by themselves and often times have no transportation so they are very enthusiastic and appreciative when we stop by. It is also very fulfilling for students to see how we help them," said Ashley Saarem, an Orvis student involved with the food drive.
This is not the first time nursing students have helped the residents of Sierra Manor. Nursing students in their third semester are required to provide nursing assistance within their community and are encouraged to do so in creative ways. Orvis has provided senior citizens at the Sierra Manor with free home visits from students where they provide checkups, minor medical needs and address concerns the seniors may have.
They are very appreciative with everything that we can help with. When donating cans or doing home visits, they have always been very appreciative," said nursing student Brian Collins.
"The seniors are so excited, you can see the smiles on their faces, it warms the heart and it really makes all our hard work worthwhile," said Samantha Booth, another Orvis student involved with the canned food drive this semester.
Last year, roughly 900 cans were distributed at the Sierra Manor house. This year, the students set a goal of 1,000 cans, which has been exceeded.