Marketing and Career Pathway students at Ross Collins Career and Technical Center set up their annual Christmas store inside Queen City Nursing Center Thursday morning. This store has been done for the past several years and is a way for the students to get involved in the community and help those who may be lonely at Christmas.
Deidre Bland, an instructor at Ross Collins, explains, "The kids come and bring $5 to class, and then we go to the dollar store and buy items. We give the residents Monopoly money, and then the residents come and go shopping at our store, and we also wanted to just come and give because this is the time for giving and to put smiles on the residents faces seeing as though they don't have a lot of family and friends that might come to visit them."
While the students brighten the residents' day, the students don't leave empty-handed as they also receive something for spending time with the residents.
Antoine Watts, a senior career pathways student, says, "We get a lot out of this experience. It's just giving back to the people that really paved the way for us. That's pretty much it. It's fun, and just to be around the residents and all. They say they really like it because they get to be around the people, talk to them, see how it was in their days and all different kinds of good things like that."
This store is the only way some of these residents will be able to get gifts for those closest to them.
Chandra Collier, activities director for Queen City Nursing Center, tells us, "I think they're really looking forward to being able, because some of them don't have money and family, just being able to get their hands on gifts and prizes to give away to close friends they have in here or staff or family. It really touches them just to be able to receive those items and things like that."
Students gladly gift wrapped the items the residents purchased.