Johns Hopkins Gazette: July 24, 1995

Nursing Students Go To Bat For Homeless

Steve Libowitz

     Camden Yards.

     It was a night when the heat felt like a sledgehammer on
your head.

     It was a night when nurses tended to customers, not

     It was a night for the homeless.

     On July 14, in a concession stand directly behind home plate
at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, five nursing students were joined
by a half-dozen of their teachers, friends and families to sling
soda and beer and popcorn and nachos, raising money for Brown's
Shelter for the homeless.

     The fundraising effort, the second of two at the ballpark,
was an extension of the students' coursework for their class
Community Health Nursing, a final requirement for their nursing
degree. As part of the course, students are required to identify
a segment of the population in need of medical attention, develop
a community-based clinical care program for that population and
execute the plan during the semester.

     The five students in the one-year accelerated nursing
program chose the homeless shelter at Brown's Memorial Baptist
Church on Park Heights Avenue in Northwest Baltimore. The
shelter--one of the few that cares for families as well as
individuals--has been a volunteer project of the school's student
government for the past year.

     But this cohort of students came twice a week for four hours
a night, providing blood pressure screenings for a population
rife with undiagnosed hypertension. They taught health management
techniques. And they offered nutrition and other tips. 

     But it was not hard to see that the shelter needed more than
information. It needed supplies, basic things like soap and
linens and toothpaste and clean towels. And food. Providing those
things required more than time. It demanded money. 

     So the class decided to raise some.

    "We were trying to figure out an activity that would get us
the most money for our effort," says Elizabeth Gilger, one of the
students in the course. "We considered a bake sale and a
bowl-a-thon. Someone in our group heard that Camden Yards and the
ARA food service there have a program for nonprofit groups, and
that sounded fun. And it was."

      "It went great, but it was so hot and much more work than I
thought," says Rosemarie Wood, the course's clinical instructor
and her students' employee for the night. "We had to do
everything, from baking pretzels to mopping up."

      By midnight, as they slipped out into a slightly cooled-off
night, they had raised about $700, as they had during their June
fundraiser at the park. The proceeds--combined with a $500
unrestricted grant from the May Company Foundation, which the
class also secured for the shelter--will be presented to the
church in the coming weeks. 

     And the School of Nursing's assistance to the shelter will
continue. The Student Government Association maintains a
collection box for clothes and canned goods on the third floor of
the 1830 Building, 1830 N. Monument Street, and welcomes all

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