Four seniors in the bachelor of science in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program at Penn State York have joined forces to gather items and make care packages for frontline workers who have been crucial during the pandemic. The group hopes to make 250 care packages that will be given to Lancaster General, UPMC, and WellSpan Health, and distributed through them. Donations are being accepted through April 30.
"Covid has impacted everyone in this last past year, but the frontline workers, such as nurses are dealing with hardships daily,” said Kara Duchek, Victoria Lomman, Corina Rivera and Jelena Young. “We wanted to remind them that they matter, and we support them. We are hoping these care packages will bring a little bit of joy to their day!"
The group senior project is part of HDFS 495C, Professional Practice in Human Services, and is part of an internship. HDFS seniors do projects each year that give back to the community, and this group was not going to let the pandemic stop them. Students chose frontline workers as the recipients of the care packages because they have been working long hours away from their families, have put themselves at risk, and have had a positive impact.
“As so many of our students face their own challenges brought on by Covid-19, our human development and family studies students chose to embrace the Penn State York tradition of serving the community and being a source of support and positivity," said JeanMarie St. Clair-Christman, assistant teaching professor in human development and family studies and field coordinator. "I am incredibly proud of their efforts."
Items being collected include lip balms, lotions, hand sanitizers, assorted candies, disposable masks, hair ties, and protein bars. The group hopes that the care packages will help frontline workers know how much they are appreciated.
Collection boxes are located on campus in the academic affairs office in the Main Classroom Building and in student affairs located in the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center. Those who want to participate but can’t get to campus can visit the group’s GoFundMe page.
The HDFS major provides a foundation for students interested in working in a wide range of human services with many different groups of people -- from infants to the elderly -- and with various kinds of families. It prepares students to become leaders in human services, developing new models to prevent and treat social and mental health problems, and becoming advocates for new social policies and programs. Penn State York offers both the associate degree and bachelor’s degree in HDFS.