In the middle of a busy semester, with exams, case studies and project deadlines looming, who would expect that students would have time to embark on an optional community service initiative? Well, the old adage, "If you want something done, ask a busy person", certainly rings true here.
Students from the School of Radiologic Technology and the School of Nursing at St. Francis Medical Center recently organized a Halloween drive to collect trick or treat goodies for the children of the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (T.A.S.K.). Students from both schools decorated and assembled 100 trick or treat bags which included Halloween trinkets, coloring books, snacks, candy and even tooth brushes. Other students baked cookies and brownies to add to the treats. On the day of the event, the “loot” was loaded into the back of an SUV and several students dressed in costumes to volunteer their time by working at the party. This involved serving food, handing out goodie bags and making crafts with the children.
Vicki Tennesen, Clinical Coordinator for the School of Radiologic Technology at St. Francis commented that “The students became so engaged in this project and took it to such a higher level than we ever expected.” This project was designed to not only immerse students into community involvement, but also to create an initiative that required teamwork, organizational skills, collaboration with other groups and positive energy. Additionally, students stepped outside their comfort zone, and worked well beyond the projected hours to see this project to fruition. The smiles on the faces of our students who dressed in costumes to volunteer at the party were as big as the smiles of the trick or treaters themselves. Perhaps the best lesson learned from this project mimics the words of our patron saint, Saint Francis of Assisi, who said “…For it is in Giving that we Receive…”
For information ways to support the TASK, be sure to visit their website, www.trentonsoupkitchen.org.