Durham Tech students brave heat for community service

Durham Tech’s Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) students are always on the move with service-learning projects and supporting community organizations in need. They didn’t let the nearly 100 degree temperatures slow them down on Thursday, July 7, as the students worked to build raised garden beds for the residents of Charles House-Winmore.

Students installed two raised garden beds, one of which is wheelchair-accessible. The OTA students raised more than $600 through fundraising activities, of which approximately $200 was used for the bed installation project. The ground was leveled with topsoil and finished with mulch, and the beds were strategically placed and loaded with a topsoil and compost blend donated by Mellott Construction Company in Chapel Hill.

Before 2

The beds were then carefully lined with squash, green and jalapeño peppers, cucumber plants, and various herbs that were donated by Garden Supply Company in Cary. Two large pots were filled with tomato plants. Charles House staff and residents will tend the plants and enjoy the vegetables they harvest.

Kristine Nguyen, OTA student service learning project chairperson, said the garden beds have already yielded enjoyment, connecting student volunteers and residents of the home.

“We are really proud of the way the project turned out and pleased that our contributions to Charles House-Winmore are long-lasting and will be enjoyed for years to come by the residents,” Nguyen said.

After picture

The students will host an ice cream social on July 16th for the residents and their families and the staff of Charles House-Winmore to dedicate the new raised garden beds, along with an activity binder and associated activities and games the OTA students created and selected for the residents. The project is designed to give older residents living at Charles House-Winmore engaging and therapeutic activities.

The Charles House Association operates the Charles House Center for Eldercare, providing quality, personalized care to elders and respite for their caregiving families. Six residents inhabit the Charles House-Winmore home, which opened in September 2014 in northwestern Chapel Hill. According to the organization’s website, the program aims to provide “high levels of social and physical engagement for residents.” Durham Tech is committed to supporting great initiatives that give back to the community.

For more information, contact Communications and Social Media Manager Nathan Hardin at 919-536-7246, ext. 5206 or hardinn@durhamtech.edu.