Students hope care packages will brighten the day for frontline workers

Seniors in the HDFS program at Penn State York work to make a difference and say thank you
HDFS Group Project York

Corina Rivera, Kara Duchek, Victoria Lomman, and  Jelena Young, left to right, seniors in the human development and family studies (HDFS) degree at Penn State York, put together care packagers for nurses and  first responders.  The group is collecting items for the care packages through April 30.  They decided to do this project as a way to say thank you to nurses and first responders for all their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Care packages will be taken to the UPMC Hospital in York for distribution.

Credit: Barbara Dennis

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."

HDFS Project York Campus

Victoria Lomman, adds items to bag that will become care packages for frontline works in the York area.  Lomman, the lead in the project, along with three other seniors in the HDFS program at Penn State York, created this community service project as a way to say thank you.

Credit: Barbara Dennis

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.

Care packages Penn State York

Care packages for frontline workers will include a variety of useful items including lip balm, hand sanitizer, lotion, assorted candies, disposable masks, hair ties, and more.

Credit: Barbara Dennis