Trocaire College’s Catherine McAuley School of Nursing was recently honored by Harvest House with an award recognizing the program’s commitment to community service.
Harvest House, one of Trocaire’s service learning community partners, is a Buffalo non-profit with a mission to “strengthen the body and soul of our community by fostering moral values in a culturally sensitive atmosphere that promotes dignity and spirituality.”
At its two locations—one on Seneca Street and one on Jefferson Avenue—it provides a variety of services for the Queen City’s most vulnerable residents, including legal advice, retreat and spiritual programs, healthcare services, education and vocational training, and a baby and children’s ministry.
The plaque was presented at Harvest House’s 21st Anniversary Gala on Oct. 1, “in appreciation for the countless & valuable volunteer hours performed at The Baby & Children’s Ministry, Harvest House.” Two fourth-semester Trocaire nursing students who had volunteered at the Baby and Children’s Ministry, Torie Bonnet and Kristine Fox, were asked by Harvest House staff to accept the award on the college’s behalf.
“This is a great honor for Trocaire and for our nursing students in particular,” said Pam Jablonicky, coordinator of Service Learning. “Trocaire’s commitment to service—instilled by the Sisters of Mercy when they founded the college in 1958—continues to thrive, and I’m thrilled our students could contribute to Harvest House’s wonderful and essential work in the community.”
The Baby & Children’s Ministry at Harvest House serves more than 5,800 Buffalo-area children in need every year. Caregivers are able to “shop” (free of charge) for items like clothing, safe cribs, car seats, strollers, toys, books, pajamas, and more.
Torie and Kristine first volunteered there to complete the 16 hours of service learning required by Trocaire’s Registered Nursing program, but they were so touched by the experience that they both decided to continue volunteering after their requirement was fulfilled. With the help of Trocaire’s Office of Service Learning, they organized a clothing and supply drive for the Baby & Children’s Ministry that ran throughout the month of November.
“Working with Harvest House has changed the way I look at serving the community,” Torie said. “Through helping this wonderful cause, I have learned how important it is as a nurse to not only heal the body, but also help my patients heal their soul. I have had the privilege of getting to know the stories of some of these patients, and seen what wonders a helping hand can do.”