Nursing student spearheads donation drive for day care
A group of Shepherd University nursing students and faculty recently took a large donation of toys and supplies to Shepherdstown Day Care. After doing clinical work at the day care, Heather Connors, a nursing major from Gerrardstown, wanted to do something for the kids there so she organized a donation drive.
“I found out that it was a nonprofit facility and I felt they could use more and I wanted to do more,” said Connors, who has children about the same age as some who attend the day care. “The kids are very caring and they all want to come up to you, love you, and sit on your lap. I just thought this would be a way to help them.”
Connors talked to director, Melissa Holman, and assistant director, Michelle Robinson, about what kind of items the center needs. Connors works as a certified pharmacy tech at Walmart, which donated $100 gift card. She used the card to buy items for the center and collected new and used donations from other nursing students, faculty, friends and family.
“I just want to make the kids happy,” Connors said. “We collected things like hula hoops, balls, colored play sand, books, construction paper, bubbles and a bubble machine.”
The nursing students and faculty also delivered items like tissues, bleach and wipes.
“We love having the partnership with the nursing students and others at Shepherd University and feel very blessed at what Heather has gotten together and done for our children,” Robinson said. “Since we are nonprofit it is a wonderful gift to have people donate to us, and the items will certainly be used and enjoyed by the children.”
Robinson said receiving the donated items frees up money for education and other necessities.
“Being a nonprofit, our funds are limited,” Holman said. “To be able to purchase this amount of supplies for the kids at one time is extraordinary. Usually we have to have a fundraiser and we buy a little at a time.”
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity,” said Patty Martineau, president of the day care board of directors. “We simply don’t have the extra cash to buy all these wonderful things because our budget has to go to basic operations. This is just icing on the cake.”
Shepherdstown Day Care has the capacity for 100 children and currently 87 are in the program.
It has been providing affordable, nurturing childcare and enriching educational experiences to the children in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle since 1973. Shepherdstown Day Care offers programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, before and after school care and the state-mandated pre-K class.