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Nursing Students Lead Community Effort to Assist Sandy Victims

DATE: 12-03-2012

Nursing students at Cayuga Community College partnered with the local community to fill a 53-foot 18-wheeler with supplies and gifts to aid victims of Superstorm Sandy in Newark, New Jersey. They collected donations of winter clothing, sleeping bags, blankets, personal necessities, cleaning supplies, and even Christmas presents of toys and board games, managing to fill the truck in just three days.

The idea for the donation drive originated with students in Cheryl Foster’s community health class and members of the college’s Nursing Club, who wanted to do something to assist those affected by the storm. Community members and business owners enthusiastically rallied around the effort. Larry Ellis, president of Stott & Davis Motor Express, provided the truck and supplied a driver, who reported the safe delivery of the donated items to Catholic Charities in Newark on Thursday, November 29. The Cuthbert family, owners of MEDENT Community Computer Service, allowed space for the truck on their lot, and MEDENT employees helped man the donation site while nursing students were at classes.

“The amount of donations we received was overwhelming,” said Foster, professor of nursing and coordinator of family and community nursing at Cayuga. “Everyone in the community contributed very generously, and a great variety of items were donated.”

As a further extension of goodwill between the two communities, Foster said, Auburn Mayor Michael Quill was following up on the delivery of the donated items by putting together information about Auburn and Cayuga County to be delivered directly to Newark Mayor Cory Booker. “It has been great to be a part of this, coming together with the community and seeing everyone pull together to make this happen,” Foster said. “It’s a great feeling to be able to help this way.”