Ross Medical Education Center in Kokomo recently participated in Howard County’s United Way Day of Caring for the first time. Since the campus opened their doors in early 2013, they have had the opportunity to partner with the local United Way on a few projects. The Dental Assistant students and staff have helped on houses and they have looked forward to more involvement. The Day of Caring is an annual community-wide event that calls everyone together to tackle multiple jobs in the area that desperately need work and demand manpower to complete.
There were various projects this year. Some volunteers delivered meals to the elderly, others mowed lawns for those who are unable to do it themselves, still others helped clean up debris still scattered from last year’s devastating tornadoes. The project of the Ross staff and students was the remodeling and restoration of a Kokomo family’s home that had been donated by Habitat for Humanity. The Ross crew spent their time installing insulation in the upstairs ceiling and walls and then putting up the drywall. They also unloaded an entire trailer of drywall sheets and carried them into the house. Bill Calhoun, Kokomo’s Campus Director, shared, “It was a great feeling doing this type of work, knowing the difference it will make in a local family’s life.”
This is precisely the goal of the Howard County United Way. Their mission, according to their website, is to “organize and increase the capacity of people to care for one another.” That is something that the Ross volunteers definitely witnessed as they came together with hundreds of others from their community to make a real impact on the lives of others. Jeannie Altmaeir, Career Services Student Services Representative at the Kokomo campus, loved the opportunity to participate in this year’s Day of Caring. “It was a great experience to go out into the community and get hands-on experience helping a family in need,” Altmaeir said. “Since all of our students are going into the medical field, they strive to help people. This is for the students and this is what they’re here for – to help people.” Although this was Kokomo’s first year participating in this incredible event, it definitely won’t be their last! The campus plans to continue this tradition of service with the United Way in their community.