For those of you following my story, it definitely comes as no surprise that volunteering in 2018 has been huge on my list. As a registered nurse with public health certification, the community and how its inhabitants survive is very close to my heart. I had the opportunity to welcome and provide linen and handing basic hygiene products with the African Nurse United to the homeless in St Paul, MN at the Higher Ground Shelter with Catholic Charities. This was a very fulfilling and eye opening experience.
This was very saddening because homelessness can happen to anyone. The homeless are at high risk of being sexually and physically abused. They are most prone to not having immediate access to basic healthcare and thus end up using the emergency rooms when they are in the worst shape. As my group members and I handed supplies such as towels, soap, toothpaste, sanitary towel, socks, shampoo, deodorants, each person was truly grateful for this kind gesture.I could sense they felt welcomed by our smiles as we asked what they needed. Speaking with the staff, they informed us there was a huge need for homeless shelters and they were in the process of expanding the facilities to accommodate more people. They also were in desperate need for basic supplies to provide the residents.
My group of nurses who work at United Hospital provide care to some of these homeless people and we have heard their stories. We hear how they have to choose between medications and food every day and how they have to survive the elements of the weather and figure out permanent housing and work. There was no fresh food at the center and that bothered us as we saw many of the guests eating highly processed foods since they had no access to a kitchen.
As a nurse and model, my passion will always be to give back within the United States and beyond. Next month I along with other members of the African Nurses United will be providing a free health needs based assessment. We will be working with local nurses and doctors providing basic healthcare in Ghana, West Africa and we cannot wait to empower and educate the less fortunate in the rural fishing village of Agbozume. 2018 is only the start and I cannot wait to share more my nursing knowledge, skills, and compassion with the world! Feel free to donate to our go fund me page at https://www.gofundme.com/volunteer-medical-mission-to-ghana.
Ms.. Lilla Watson could not have said it better when she said, “If you came to help me, you are wasting your time and mine. But if you have come because your liberation is bound with mine, let us work together.”
Feel free to comment and or message me if you are interested in working with me and or the African Nurse United.