In the spirit of holiday giving, the students, faculty, and staff of Ross Medical Education Center in Owensboro, Kentucky wanted to do something special for the children who live at the Daniel Pitino Shelter. The Daniel Pitino Shelter is local to Owensboro and has a very special place in the hearts of those at the campus. It was founded in 1994 by Father Bradley and Rick and Joanne Pitino. According to their website, “The Shelter serves as a safe and secure place, a “sanctuary” for homeless families, where the healing process can begin, rehabilitation directed, and independent living guided.”
The Daniel Pitino Shelter services single women and men; however, they also take in any children that they have when they come to the shelter. When Campus Director LaTasha Shemwell learned that the Pitino Shelter had several children living there, she did not hesitate to reach out to see how the Owensboro campus could help. Case Worker Charlotte Statts shared with the campus, “there are currently 24 children who live at the shelter. We are a non-profit agency so without donations from the community, the children would not have been able to have Christmas.” That was enough for the Owensboro campus to hear – they immediately asked to be a part of bringing Christmas to these children.
Once the Owensboro campus was provided with a Christmas list from the Pitino Shelter, each student, faculty member, and staff member took a child’s name and began shopping. Courtney Gish, Instructor in the Owensboro Medical Assistant program, recounted, “it was great to see the students pour their hearts and resources out because they wanted to get involved.” Medical Assistant student Brooklyn Willett agreed, “it was truly fulfilling to be able to give back. I had so much fun shopping for toys and wish I could have seen the children’s faces on Christmas Day.” Campus Director LaTasha Shemwell stated, “with the help from the students, faculty, and staff, all 24 children were able to have two gifts each. I am so proud of my team and their willingness to give back.”