A DCSL representative with the collected food.
During her last year at the SON, Lindsey Lang, BSN ’13, teamed up with the UNC-CH Association of Nursing (ANS) Students and ANS faculty advisor Megan Williams, MSN, RN, FNP, to organize a food drive for the Durham Center for Senior Living (DCSL). Their community service effort was recently highlighted in Johnson and Johnson’s Nursing Notes.
In the article, Ms. Lang discussed how her public health rotation at DCSL inspired her to start the drive. “I learned that many seniors in the community had very little money to pay for food after spending their money on medication, bills and heat for their homes, which is why the DCSL provided the food pantry service for their patients,” said Ms. Lang. “However, a staff member informed me that the holidays were an especially difficult time for the elderly, and the center’s pantry was running out of food.”
The “Fight Against Hunger” campaign lasted for 19 days. Through the incredible generosity of SON faculty, staff, and students, Ms. Lang and ANS were able to collect more than 500 pounds of food and $450 to donate to DCSL.
Now that Ms. Lang is practicing as a level one trauma center nurse at UNC Healthcare, she has realized that her community service through ANS was a valuable component of her nursing education. “The experience taught me that I can never fully understand what my patients are going through until I ask questions. I had no idea that so many of the seniors I was working with were struggling to get food,” she said. “I think ‘giving back’ comes naturally for nurses and nursing students. We go into this profession because we want to serve others. It only makes sense that if we see a need in our community, we find a way to meet that need.”
To read the full article, go to the Nursing Notes website and click “Read More” under the section “Nurses Giving Back”. Ms. Lang and Professor Williams are also quoted in the “Ask a Nurse” section.