Nursing students collect donations for troops

Tom Chaber
Tom Chaber '13 with the wooden donations boxes he built for the Quinnipiac Student Nurses Association's collection drive to support deployed U.S. troops.
Nov. 16, 2012 - The Quinnipiac Student Nurses Association (QSNA) is holding a collection drive to support deployed U.S. troops.

All donations will be given to the Give 2 The Troops organization, which is based in Connecticut.

The most needed items include snacks such as coffee, protein bars, beef jerky, oatmeal packs and pumpkin seeds; toiletries such as eye drops, body wash, shaving cream and hand sanitizer; and entertainment items such as crossword puzzles, Frisbees, DVD movies and board games. View a complete list.

Tom Chaber '13, a student in the accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program and a member of QSNA, volunteered his time and talents to build two wooden donation boxes for the effort.

Chaber says he has always had a deep appreciation for U.S. soldiers and veterans, but his understanding of their sacrifices was sharpened when a friend returned from Afghanistan with a severe leg injury. He traveled to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. to comfort his friend and provide support as the wounded soldier embarked on a long journey of reconstructive surgery, physical therapy and psychological recovery.

While at Walter Reed, Chaber spent time with other injured soldiers and was struck by their personal stories of war and bravery.

"People truly do not understand the complexity of what these men and women go through in order to protect our freedoms. These small donations that we provide with our fundraising efforts help to briefly take these soldiers out of the harsh reality they are faced with and, in doing so, bring some sense of comfort whether it is through offering them a bag of their favorite beef jerky or giving them the smell of the soap they used back home," he said.

Chaber works full-time as an EMT while he pursues the accelerated nursing degree. After receiving his BSN, Chaber plans to enlist in the military as a flight nurse.  "The idea of helping our soldiers in critical situations is something very appealing to me and to serve our country at the same time is a great honor," he explained.

School of Nursing Dean Jean Lange echoes Chaber's enthusiasm for supporting the troops. "Our soldiers work very hard to protect our freedom and the rights of others around the world. They and their families deserve our profound thanks. I am so proud that the Quinnipiac Student Nurses Association has launched this effort under Tom's leadership. Tom's passion is shared by the School of Nursing--we are committed to supporting veterans by preparing nurses that understand the needs of our returning soldiers," said Lange. 

The Give 2 the Troops collection boxes are located on the North Haven Campus outside the School of Nursing suite (NH1-405) and outside the Graduate Admissions office (NH1-260). Donations will be accepted through Wednesday, Nov. 28.