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RCC honor society donates chairs to Hospice

May 3, 2019

Patients and their guests have new seating in four rooms at Hospice of Rockingham County, thanks to the efforts of Alpha Kappa Pi, RCC’s local chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Rockingham Community College student Jo Beth Jones spearheaded the project, with a lot of help from fellow RCC student Tina Keels.

Farrah Harrison, manager of volunteer services for Hospice, determined exactly what was needed, Keels researched them online, and then Jones hit the pavement to make it happen.

“I just went around to every furniture store and said, ‘this is what we need, what can we get?’” Jones said of her quest for upholstered lift chairs that could fully recline for sleeping.

“That’s very important, because typically when residents come here, families are going to stay. It’s rare that they leave, honestly. They can shower here, and might go home to feed their dog, but for the most part they’re here,” Harrison said. “We do have a place for one person to sleep. But (these chairs) enable them to have two places to sleep.”

One of Hospice’s current patients gets out of bed and into her lift chair – “which is a blessing,” Harrison said. She commended the delivery men who brought the chairs into the tight quarters of the Hospice rooms.

“We’re absolutely appreciative, and we’ve had a lot of feedback from the families, and my one patient who can get up and into the chair,” Harrison said. “It is such a quality of life

thing for folks. And I know the work behind it, the fund raising. It is a tough feat to try to do something like this.”

In talking with retailers across the county, Jones was quoted $4,500 per chair; she wasn’t satisfied with such high prices and kept looking, until she landed in Madison.

“Flynn Furniture said they’d give us two at a certain price – and they donated the other two,” Jones said.

PTK had some money in its coffers from the RCC Foundation and from past fund raisers to pay for the two chairs.

“We couldn’t have done it on our own without the RCC Foundation,” said Ben Wooster, faculty advisor for the honor society.

A project like this is just one way Jones is making a difference in the community and lending a helping hand.

She will graduate in May with an associate degree in medical office administration, but will continue to work toward becoming a licensed practical nurse.

“I’m hoping to start in the fall. I just can’t get enough of being out there (at RCC),” said Jones, who also sits with three patients.

“I just want to learn how to assist them better, even though I just go in and sit and clean and cook,” said Jones, who also became a licensed medical technician and certified coding associate through RCC.

“I’m ready, I just want to be a nurse now. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always taken care of somebody,” Jones said. “When I got laid off, my son asked me what I wanted to do. I said go back to school. He said, ‘Well, I’m through school and you paid for it, so it’s time for me to help you. Now he’s amazed. And I’m just excited. Now I can be a nurse and fulfill my dream.”

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Gerri Hunt is director of public information at Rockingham Community College. She can be reached at huntg0780@rockinghamcc.edu or 336-342-4261 ext. 2170.

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