MOBILE, Ala. – Two trailers loaded with 32 Radio Flyer wagons and children’s riding toys were more than a service project for University of Mobile School of Nursing students. They were a way to share the love of Jesus Christ.
“It’s not just four wheels. It’s a memory for a child, it’s an experience for a child. It really provides healing for a family,” said Jenelle McElroy, assistant professor of nursing, as 36 UM School of Nursing students clad in maroon scrubs unloaded the trailers and pulled the wagons and toys into the lobby of University of South Alabama Children’s & Women’s Hospital.
The University of Mobile Association of Nursing Students (UMANS) raised $2,700 to purchase the wagons for the pediatric wing of the hospital. The project was inspired by McElroy’s 7-year-old daughter, Makalynne, who looked forward to hospital visits during a period when she was chronically ill because of the opportunity to play with wagons.
“We saw a need, and we wanted to meet that need. It’s what nursing is all about; caring and serving,” said Ashley Hillman, a junior in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
Neal Ledbetter, vice president for student life, said, “We talk all the time about the head and the heart, that ultimately results in the hands. You are doing that today, being the hands and feet of Jesus. That’s what we’re about as a university.”
Catharine Hardyman, a senior and president of UMANS, said, “I am very blessed to be involved with a university that really focuses on not just the care in nursing, but the whole aspect of caring for the mind, the body and the spirit. That is something I feel is very unique to University of Mobile, and something that is tied directly to this project.”