December 17, 2019 | Cheryl Miller | Internal Press Release
The Wellness Fair for the Homeless is a community service project organized by Chattanooga State Community College senior nursing students during their psych rotation each November. Students at stations provided education about nutrition, hand washing to prevent the spread of infection, and how to recognize and prevent hyper/hypothermia to the 160 clients at the fair. Blood pressure checks and proper foot care also were available. Chattanooga State dental students were there to assist and distributed donations of dental supplies and underwear. Students and graduates of the massage therapy program from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) also provided chair massages to clients.
As a special treat, clients enjoyed popcorn, cotton candy, and soda stations.
The nursing students spent a good portion of their fall semester collecting donated items to hand out at the fair by soliciting businesses for assistance. This year, clients at the fair received backpacks from BlueCross; soda from Coca-Cola; socks and water from HCA Parkridge Valley; bananas from Pruett’s Market; water from Food City; Chapstick and protein bars from Encompass Health; hand warmers and all types of nutritional supplements from Meadowview Baptist Church in Georgetown; Chapstick and Band-Aid kits from Cigna; powders, lotions, and mouthwash from Sanofi; cleaning wipes from Hearth Hospice and Avalon Hospice; and hand sanitizers from New Union Baptist Church, Dayton.
Various organizations and departments at Chattanooga State also provided donations. The Student Nurses’ Association provided the supplies for the cotton candy; the physical therapy department and the nursing faculty donated much-needed supplies of deodorant and razors. Hearing Loss Association, Chattanooga Chapter donated t-shirts.
The nursing students divided into teams, and they brought in supplies of blankets, socks, gloves, and toboggans. After the fair, there were enough of these items remaining to donate to the community center to provide as additional gifts to the clients during the upcoming holiday season!
Now in its seventh year, the Wellness fair continues to be successful when students, businesses, and organizations come together as a community to provide education and supplies for the homeless. Clients expressed sincere thanks for the fair; however, student nurses were unprepared for the amount of gratitude shown. This year’s students, like the student nurses before them, felt that they were richly blessed by serving the needs of the homeless population. The experience provided them the opportunity to realize that caring is the core of the nursing profession.
Chattanooga State consistently offers a high-quality education with an 18:1 student-to-teacher ratio, 98 percent job placement rate, and 98 percent licensure pass rate on state board exams. For more information, visit www.chattanoogastate.edu/nursing-allied-health.