With this being the season of giving, students from Western Carolina University’s Accelerated Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing Program at the Biltmore Park instructional site in Asheville did their part recently.
Members of the Association of Nursing Students used funds they raised through T-shirt and bake sales, combined with the contribution of an anonymous donor, to purchase a commercial dryer for the Haywood Street Respite, a nonprofit organization that provides a safe place for up to eight homeless people to get back on their feet after being discharged from the hospital.
Each year, ANS organizes a community investment opportunity. This year, the group wanted to purchase something that would help improve the health of their community. After reaching out to Haywood Street Respite, ANS secretary Lindsay Prestemon learned that their dryer had recently broken.
“We felt it was a good opportunity, as supporting a safe and healthy recovery upon discharge from the hospital decreases hospital re-admission rates, as well as improves the health of our city,” ANS president Kathryn Kreyling said.
Haywood Street Respite has served about 150 people this year, with 56 percent experiencing a reduction in hospital utilization in the three months following their stay at the respite, compared to the same time period before their stay.
“We work together to make these projects happen and couldn’t have done it without cooperation from the students and faculty at WCU,” Kreyling said. “It’s challenging but rewarding and we are grateful to have this opportunity.”