URI student raises awareness for local homeless shelter

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KINGSTON, R.I. – March 28, 2007 – University of Rhode Island nursing student Alissa Eardley wants to raise awareness and money to benefit the Welcome House in Wakefield.

“I was seeking a meaningful fundraising opportunity aimed toward the local community,” the Canton, Mass. resident wrote in a letter to the URI student newspaper, The Good 5? Cigar. “On the way to class each day, I blindly drove by this opportunity. It wasn’t until researching area homeless shelters, that I found what I thought to be an office building was in fact a shelter.”

Eardley, the fundraising chair for the URI Student Nurses Association who visited the Welcome House, said that this is a great time to raise money for this cause because of the ongoing campaign in Rhode Island to end homelessness in the state.

The Welcome House, a transitional shelter, has 20 available beds with a maximum 90-day stay. The shelter requires residents to sign a contract stating that they will seek employment while there.

A small percentage of the proceeds will benefit the Student Nurses Association and will be put toward an April convention in Anaheim, Calif. that they are hoping to attend.

“The donations will help pay for the bills of running the house, but more importantly they will directly benefit the residents. The money will be used to buy them shoes and get them haircuts, things that we take for granted.”

The Student Nurses Association, founded in 1980, is an organization that promotes undergraduate students’ professional development. The group works with faculty to improve facilities and develop policies affecting the students’ nursing education. In addition, the SNA raises funds to send students to the annual National Student Nurses Convention, participate in community service projects, sponsor speakers, and help with the nursing job fair.

Those interested in donating to The Welcome House can make the check out to the Student Nurses Association and mail it to Suzanne Carr, White Hall, University of Rhode Island, 2 Heathman Road, Kingston, RI 02881-2021.

Pictured above

Alissa Eardley, URI News Bureau Photo by Michael Salerno Photography.