by Cady Inabinett, News editor
SGA hosted a holiday card and sock drive event benefitting Columbiana Health and Rehabilitation, a nursing care home in Columbiana, on Dec. 1.
At the event, students were provided supplies, such as paper and markers, to make holiday-themed cards. Students were then able to select a pair of socks to couple with the card they made. Together, these items will be donated to a resident at Columbiana Health and Rehabilitation.
Paige Stevens, a senior political science and environmental studies double major, was one of the organizers of the event. She explained SGA wanted to focus this drive on benefiting senior citizens in nursing homes.
“They’ve been in this pandemic with us,” Stevens said. “And for a lot of them they haven’t been able to see their family or have outside access. And we do know that people in nursing homes sometimes don’t have as many visitors as they probably would like or that they need.”
Stevens went on to explain why cards and socks were chosen as donation items, saying, “We want to make sure they have a great holiday season, so we’re donating cards and socks to them so they’re practical gifts, but they’re also fun gifts for the holiday.”
She also pointed out that the drive, “addresses a different target population than what we’re used to.”
“I think we…worry a lot about…people who need food and that is super important, but I think that this is just a different population that sometimes does get overlooked. And I think right now we do have so many food donations and food drives happening and clothes drives — and this is similar obviously, socks are a piece of clothing,” Stevens said.
The effects of COVID-19 in nursing homes also played a role in the decision to donate to Columbiana Health and Rehabilitation as well, with Stevens saying, “But, it’s important to represent and to see those people that have been, not looked over in this pandemic, but have kind of been put to the side because of the vulnerability of their population to begin with, and making sure that this is an easy way to give them something and give back to our community without necessarily having that contact with them because it is so hard and so up in the air and we don’t want to risk people who are already vulnerable to this virus and to viruses in general.”
When asked what impact she hoped the drive would have on nursing home residents, Stevens responded, “I hope they feel a lot of happiness and cheer.”
“I’m going to make sure and specifically say these are, hopefully, going to go to people who maybe haven’t seen their families in a while or maybe don’t get a lot of gifts for Christmas,” Stevens pointed out. “So that they know that they’re loved and they know they’re important, especially if they haven’t had the ability to see people or receive gifts like this in a long time or any kind of human contact for a lot of them in, like, almost two years.”
One student in attendance, Heather Collier, a senior elementary education major, has two family members who are currently residents at Columbiana Health and Rehabilitation. Collier spoke on the positive impact she believes the drive will have, “With how COVID has been, everything has been so closed off. And stuff like this really helps them know that we care for them and love them. And that’s, like, the whole goal.”