In December, Frontier Nursing University (FNU) teamed up with the AmeriCorps TASK VISTA to make Christmas special for 17 families in the Leslie County, Ky. community.
The second annual “Operation: FNS Nurse Gift Delivery” funded gift bags that contained 50 dollars’ worth of toys and clothing for local children and expecting mothers. The items in the bag were chosen specific to each recipient’s sizes and preferences.
The gifts were brought to the Leslie County Early Head Start center on Monday, December 17th, 2018, where Austyn Caudill and Tara Dykes of the FNU Courier Program delivered them dressed in FNS nurse uniform. Frontier Nursing Service (FNS) was founded by Mary Breckinridge in 1925 to improve health care access for the rural, underserved population of the Appalachian region.
The recipients were 14 children ranging from 0-3 years of age, and three soon-to-be mothers.
After the gifts, which were signed “From: Mary Breckinridge,” were given, the Couriers served snacks and taught the children about Mrs. Breckinridge’s service in Appalachia. Each child also received a tote bag with a candy and an apple, in keeping with a tradition Mrs. Breckinridge started during Christmas parties at the Big House in the 1900s.
Operation: FNS Nurse Gift Delivery was made possible by the Children and Christmas Fund at FNU. Donations from community members attending the Wendover Holiday Dinner were also collected and utilized.
The children of Appalachia still have significant need, and FNU hopes to expand the project to additional Head Start centers in the region.
For more information on the FNU Children and Christmas Fund and how to sponsor more events like this in Appalachia, please email Denise.Barrett@frontier.edu. Together, we are all serving Appalachia.
View photos from the event below.