Cedarville students have the opportunity to donate self-care items to Safe Harbor House through a Winter Relief Drive organized by the Student Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (SSHP) that started Dec. 2.
This pharmacy org is beginning its first year of community outreach and wants to benefit Safe Harbor House by providing practical, helpful supplies for the residents of this ministry.
Tiffany Zehel is a P2 pharmacy student and co-chair for SSHP. Zehel joined SSHP last year, is part of their Community Outreach Committee and is leading this project. Since this is their first service project, she said, they had to choose which ministry their project would benefit. After asking other chapters for advice and hearing about Safe Harbor House as an option, she said she decided their work would go towards this ministry.
Zehel said she knew SSHP could provide medication to assist the residents of Safe Harbor House, but didn’t want to stop at medication. So, students are being asked to donate self-care items such as cough drops, tissues, lotion or chapstick to provide comfort in the winter months.
The School of Pharmacy will also collect and donate medication to Safe Harbor House. In this way, Zehel said, the drive will make the residents of Safe Harbor House more comfortable and help treat their illnesses. Some members of the school of pharmacy who work at Walgreens and Clark’s Pharmacy contacted Zehel offering to donate supplies from their own stores.
“People are pulling from the outside, which is really great,” she said.
John Ballentine is a professor of pharmacy practice at Cedarville’s school of pharmacy and co-advisor for SSHP with Melody Hartzler. SSHP is an organization for pharmacy students who are specifically interested in health-system pharmacy jobs, he said, typically hospital settings or outpatient clinics.
SSHP provides information to these students by bringing in residents, assisting students with the residency process and helping with networking, job opportunities, interviews and professional development.
“It’s part of our mission as the school of pharmacy to create servant leaders,” Ballentine said. “From the very beginning, you’re required to serve a certain amount. We want it to be second nature for (the pharmacy students) to give up a Saturday morning to go volunteer somewhere.”
Joy Fagan is the founder of Safe Harbor House and a former Cedarville faculty member. Fagan taught women’s ministry at Cedarville, served in the Bible department as a professor of Christian education and taught language and literature. She founded Safe Harbor House in September of 2009 and it became fully operational in December of 2011.
Safe Harbor’s mission is to help women in the southwest Springfield area heal from trauma or substance abuse and improve their quality of living. A full program at Safe Harbor House is about 12 to 16 months that includes recovery, nutrition, employment help, exercise and counseling. The workers at Safe Harbor House do not directly provide these things but connect their residents with facilities for their recovery. So far, eight women have completed a full program with all the requirements.
Fagan said Safe Harbor House provides both the proclamation and the incarnation of the gospel in the way they serve their residents. She said she is especially amazed by the ripple effect on the families of their residents and graduates. The eight graduates alone represent thirty-two children and grandchildren. She said Safe Harbor House’s work spills over into the community when outsiders see women getting real healing and transformation, and this gives the entire community hope.
“We have a front row seat at watching Jesus Christ transform the lives of our residents,” she said.
Fagan said the Winter Relief Drive couldn’t come at a better time. Safe Harbor House just purchased another house for their residents. They have three houses already—one for healing, one for transition and one for alumni housing.
As the first of SSHP’s Community Outreach programs, the Winter Relief Drive could have long-lasting effects.
“We hope that this is a success this year so that we can continue it next year and establish a long-term relationship with Safe Harbor,” Zehel said. “I hope that our program, even when I graduate, will continue to have involvement like this.”
SSHP will have a table set up for collection in the lower SSC all week during lunch hours.
Kjersti Fry is a freshman pharmacy major and reporter for Cedars. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and she enjoys playing the piano, playing ultimate frisbee and spending time with friends and family.