On Tuesday of this week, the evening Dental Assistant class from Ross Medical Education Center in Niles, OH had the opportunity to personally give back to members of their community. As a class, they went to White Oak Manor, an area nursing home that Ross decided to sponsor for a “Christmas in July” event. The nursing home had set up a Christmas tree with an ornament on it for each resident. They had also included a request for a special gift or two for each of them. The class was very honored to be able to hand deliver to each resident a gift that they had specifically requested.
Judi and Dixie, from Career Services and Marcia, the campus’ student liaison, came up with the idea. The staff, students, and faculty had worked together to buy the gifts for the residents and the Dental Assistant students had the privilege of delivering them to the eagerly awaiting residents. The students were welcomed with warm smiles and open hearts. To see their anticipation filled the students with excitement and joy.
There was one gentleman that the students were told is always either non-responsive or irate. However, when the students arrived, he gave them a warm welcome and shared how much he loved his gift. Michelle Kicula, Dental Assistant Instructor, shared about the experience with her students, “to be able to participate in something that makes people feel loved and appreciated is a joy.” There were definitely a lot of smiles and even some tears from both students and residents. “It was as heartwarming for us as it was for them. Maybe even more so,” continued Kicula.
This was the first year that the campus was able to participate in this event and they loved it! During their time at the nursing home, the students and faculty found the Activities Assistant, Janet Gearheart, to be very helpful. She worked hard to assist the Ross students and staff in making sure that the proper gift made it to the correct resident. Everyone had a wonderful time and the residents were all very pleased with their “Christmas.”