A wellness fair for the homeless attracted approximately 150 attendees on Nov. 20 at the Community Day Center located on E. 11th Street. Students and chairpersons, Hennie Gunter and Dr. Cheryl Miller, worked for three months to organize the event that included services, information, giveaways and fun.
Ms. Gunter stated that the nursing class does a community service project each fall to benefit the homeless. Shared Gunter, “One client said this is great what you are all doing.” During this season of thanksgiving, nursing students learned that the words “thank you” held a much deeper meaning for the many homeless in the area.
Through donations from nursing students, local companies, and Chattanooga State faculty and staff, all worked together to ensure that each participant received certain essential items. Some of these items included such things as toboggans, gloves, scarves, socks, rain ponchos, hand sanitizer, backpacks, toothbrushes, toothpaste as well as bottled water and fruit.
The smell of hot popcorn added to the festive environment of the fair. Free foot massages were offered to clients, while children, as well as those young at heart, enjoyed face painting. Mounds of clothing piled three feet high, as well as pairs of shoes in rows three deep, offered attendees a wide selection of apparel from which to choose.
As the students hustled to prepare the nine stations, clients waited outside or sat patiently in chairs waiting for the event to begin. At informative stations, clients learned about hand washing and how to prevent the spread of infection. They were also taught about ways to stay warm and dry this winter. Another station informed participants about community resources available for domestic violence. Another informed about value of balanced nutrition. Service oriented stations included one that offered blood pressure checks.
More than 40 students participated in the fair. Dr. Martina Harris, program director, as well as Gay Cohen and Pat Wilson, provided additional faculty assistance. For more information about the ChattState registered nursing program, call 697-4450.
Students offered free fruit and pamphlets on ways to eat healthy at the Chattanooga State wellness fair.