WSU nursing students to hold fundraiser

WESTFIELD – Westfield State University’s nursing department will hold a taco and nachos dinner on Saturday, February 21 to benefit their upcoming service trip to Guatemala where students and faculty will provide medical care and health promotion. The dinner will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Scanlon Banquet Hall. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.
For the second year in a row, Westfield State nursing students will travel to Santa Maria de Jesus, Guatemala during spring break. Fifteen students and two faculty members will participate in the excursion, which counts as a clinical element for their nursing courses. Students pay out of pocket for travel expenses and all of the money from the dinner will go directly to support the community in Guatemala including purchasing water filters, wound equipment, food for malnutrition centers, and vitamins.
While in Guatemala, students and faculty members will care for children at two different orphanages. They will supply and teach Guatemalan families how to use water filters, provide health and dental care, provide wound care for the homeless, and offer feedings at malnutrition centers. Depending on how much money is raised, they may have the opportunity to build wheelchairs or a metal house with a stove.
Marcia Scanlon, assistant professor of nursing and allied health, said the service course was inspiring the first time around last year, which caused several students to want to repeat it.
“Students described it as a life changing experience,” Scanlon said. “Many of the same students were so moved they are returning on the mission. Poverty is never easy to view first hand and it hits at the heart every time.”
Nursing student Meghan O’Brien ’15 chose to return to Guatemala after feeling a sense of appreciation last year.
“Personally I am looking forward to the trip to be able to appreciate the little things,” O’Brien said. “I went last year and I walked away being so grateful. The people are so friendly, loving, and welcoming. I can’t wait to see what I learn this year.”
Tickets must be purchased in advance. Call Marcia Scanlon at (413) 572-8414 or email her at [email protected] to purchase tickets.
The nursing department is also accepting monetary donations. Checks can be made out to WSU Nursing with “Guatemala” in the memo and can be mailed to Marcia Scanlon, Westfield State University Nursing Department, 577 Western Avenue, Westfield, MA 01086.
They are also accepting supplies including, but not limited to: school supplies, sun glasses, underwear, gloves, winter hats, band aids, and hygiene products including toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, and laundry soap. Donations can be dropped off at the Nursing Department in Juniper Park. To coordinate a drop off time, call Meghan O’Brien at (413) 695-8884.

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