The Forbes Road Career and Technology Center in Monroeville was one of five schools that recently received a donation from Community LIFE to facilitate adolescent health engagement.
Supplies donated to the school included stress balls, hand sanitizer, colored pencils, loose-leaf paper and binders, and other school essentials. In addition to Forbes Road CTC, donations were made to the Mon Valley Career & Technology Center, Bedford County Technical Center, Somerset County Technology Center, and Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center.
“I thought they showed up with two boxes and they asked me if I had a cart,” said Megan H. Tomley, student services coordinator at Forbes Road CLC. “There were so many school supplies that I had to buy a cart. So I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s pretty amazing.’ “
The idea for a donation from Community LIFE, an organization that aims to help seniors stay healthy and at home with seven health and wellness centers in four counties, was part of a program to to alleviate the stress placed on healthcare workers during the pandemic. The PULSE program has been in use for about a year to provide self-care opportunities for staff.
PULSE, which stands for taking care of yourself physically, nutritionally, socially, spiritually and emotionally, has led to the idea that giving helps those who give in addition to those who receive, said Lisa Jenkins, Community Behavioral Health Coordinator. LIFE.
The donation was initially intended to supply primary schools. But Jenkins, who is Tomley’s sister, examined the stories she had heard from high school students at the Forbes Road CTC.
“Pairing that with the fact that we could make a difference, not just for students, but for the healthcare profession, it seemed like the perfect fit,” Jenkins said. “The way we billed our staff, we called it PROJECT IMPACT. … He said, ‘Impact the students of today. Impact the healthcare of tomorrow. An impact on your health for a lifetime.
Community LIFE began contacting seven different schools on August 20. Schools were chosen based on their location in relation to Community LIFE’s eight adult day centers and two administrative locations. The five who responded received supplies.
“The students, they were so excited,” Tomley said. “We had so many school supplies that we were able to, in addition to providing our health science classes, we also extended that. That was the idea of Community LIFE. We also extended it for our emergency response services students. So in fact three programs have been able to benefit because we have so many. “
Nora Lynn Spiri, director of human resources for Community LIFE, said donations could provide a way to connect more with schools.
“I get feedback from schools and am contacted to help maybe facilitate opportunities for their students to do on-site career days or maybe even, someday, recruiting projects,” Spiri said. “It’s a full community engagement project. We exceeded our expectations.
Community LIFE would like to continue to donate in the future, Jenkins said.
“One thing this has done has really opened the door to hopefully establishing a relationship between Community LIFE and these schools,” Jenkins said. “Many of these teachers I spoke to had never heard of Community LIFE. … So, I hope we were able to make a connection.
“In speaking with our director of human resources, there is hope that we will be able to cultivate a relationship and keep going, whether through ongoing donations or other opportunities for students to connect with our. personal and vice versa. “
Wes Crosby is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
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