As part of the School of Health Professions’ ongoing community service, they are assisting a local elementary school.

Over the summer Dr. Terri Kane, Dr. Linda Metcalf and Angela Rainey organized a supply drive for West Handley Elementary School, and began providing not only school supplies, but also backpacks, clothing, and even laundry detergent.

“You want to give them what they need,” Kane said. “If you give them something they don’t need that’s not a benefit.”

When Kane was informed about assisting Handley Elementary (which is located at 2749 Putnam St. near the Texas Wesleyan campus), school supplies were the first thing to cross her mind. She asked the school to tell her what they really needed. The administration told her students need backpacks and uniforms, and teachers need laundry detergent. The donations from Texas Wesleyan are ongoing.

“The teachers will often wash the uniforms for the students,” Metcalf said.

The outreach was announced at a School of Health Professions meeting in the spring.

The Graduate Program of Nurse Anesthesia and the Department of Graduate Counseling reached out to all current and incoming Wesleyan students about everything they needed for the Handley students. Both the School of Health Professions and counseling schools created fliers to distribute to their students and help get the word out about the drive.

Handley has a specific dress code for what the students are allowed to wear, and so Rainey created displays to show examples of what outfits students could bring to donate.

The School of Health Professions and counseling buildings had a drop-off point with a display, Kane said. Because the GPNA and counseling programs operate year-round, the drive was able to collect donations throughout the summer.

“It helped us and the counseling department grow closer,” Kane said.

When dropping off the donations, Kane and Jen Hestand, assistant professor of nurse anesthesia, were greeted by the students of the school who assisted them as they unloaded their cars.

After the first wave of donations had been delivered, Kane and Hestand asked about other ways to get involved and help the school. They inquired about helping with a reading program, mentoring the children, and possibly forming a Girl Scout or Boy Scout troupe, as part of forming an ongoing relationship with the school.

“These are things that we need to incorporate as a university going forward, giving back to the community,” Rainey said.

With the drive ongoing, Kane is looking for volunteers, and donations. For more information on the drive or to volunteer contact Dr. Terri Kane at tdkane@txwes.edu.

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Colt Taylor

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