The Wellness Fair for the Homeless is a community service project organized by Chattanooga State Community College senior nursing students in NS 238 classes during their psych rotation every November. Students at stations provided education about nutrition, handwashing to prevent the spread of infection, and how to recognize and prevent hyper/hypothermia to the 175 clients at the fair. Blood pressure checks and proper foot care also were available, while ChattState dental students distributed donations of dental supplies and underwear for adults and children.
As a special treat, clients enjoyed a popcorn, cotton candy and soda station.
The nursing students spend a good portion of their fall collecting donated items to hand out at the fair by soliciting businesses for assistance.
This year, clients at the fair received backpacks, Blue Cross; soda, Coca-Cola; socks, Renfron Sock Company; bananas, Pruett's Market; oranges, Food City; handmade blankets, Morning Pointe on Shallowford; popcorn and use of a popcorn machine, Chattanooga Tractor and Equipment; and gift cards, Walmart.
Student donations included food supplies for the Community Kitchen, as well as blankets, socks, toboggans, underwear, hand/feet warmers, mylar survival blankets, water, individual hand sanitizers, sweaters, and gloves. Items collected for children included toboggans, socks, and underwear. An anonymous monetary donation was also made to the Community Kitchen.
Now in its sixth year, the Wellness Fair continues to be successful when students 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.
Chattanooga State consistently offers a high-quality education with an 18:1 student-to-teacher ratio, 97 percent job placement rate, and 98 percent licensure pass rate. For more information, visit www.chattanoogastate.edu/nursing-allied-health.