Being the hands and feet
Nursing students offer local shelter residents free manicures and pedicures
Nursing students from Liberty University have been literally washing the hands and feet of shelter residents at the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope, in order to serve their community with outreach.
Students have participated in six clinics that offered free manicures, pedicures and pampering to shelter residents.
They washed hands and feet and trimmed and painted fingernails, according to senior nursing student Amy Steadman.
The Center of Hope is a shelter that provides beds and life skills programs to help residents reestablish themselves and prepare them to return to affordable housing, according to the Virginia Salvation Army’s website.
To encourage the wellbeing of the residents, students offered them the chance to receive a manicure or pedicure at student-run clinics held every Monday.
After residents attended two clinics, they were also offered a voucher for a free pair of shoes.
Seniors in the nursing program helped to oversee the clinic while sophomores did the pampering of the hands and feet.
The program was designed to help students provide for a need in the community while practicing service to others.
Steadman served by handing out socks and toiletries to all who participated in the clinic.
She believes the program is a wonderful opportunity for both the residents and the students who serve.
“I think it is important to take part in a clinic like this because it allows us to get to know the needs of the community,” Steadman said.
“It also allows us to provide a service that may seem small to us but big to those in need.”
Steadman is from the Lynchburg area and found that having the opportunity to meet and help other members of the community was a blessing.
She believes that through the clinic they were able to show God’s love to all those who participated.
Steadman also knows that by serving, she and the other students were able to be an example of God’s love for those who have never experienced it.
“I loved seeing all the smiles and happy looks on the people’s faces when they came out of the clinic,” Steadman said.
“Being able to make their day and provide them a small but meaningful service was a blessing as well.”
Participating in this program will also help prepare students for their future careers in the field of serving others.
Steadman sees that the process of washing the hands and feet of others humbles students and helps them to acknowledge the needs of their clients above all else.
Steadman plans on taking the experiences and knowledge gained through this program and applying them to her future nursing practices.
She knows the time spent at the shelter will remain an experience that she will always value.
“In the nursing program, we strive to be the hands and feet of Christ, and I think this clinic personifies that,” Steadman said.
“This clinic has shown me that caring for a client is not just performing tasks to improve their physical health, but caring for them in a holistic manner by looking at the person’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.”
Whittaker is a feature reporter.