“Your Smiles Are Kisses to Our Souls”

LPN students from Riverside School of Health Careers' School of Practical Nursing present a certificate representing a paver that the 2012 LPN class purchased to be installed at St. Mary's Home. From left, student Joan Forbes, student Melena Mims, instructor Sierra Funk, class President Jenny Hart and St. Mary's CEO William C. Giermak.

When the students in the 2012 LPN class at Riverside School of Health Careers’ School of Practical Nursing began holding bake sales and car washes earlier this year, they didn’t know what they would do with the funds they collected. Then, they came to St. Mary’s Home for a clinical rotation and they were inspired to purchase a paver as a way to support St. Mary’s and give thanks for their learning experiences here. “We met some amazing kids and staff,” said Jenny Hart, class president.

Hart and fellow students Joan Forbes and Melena Mims, with instructors Sierra Funk and Susan Brown, returned to St. Mary’s on Nov. 5 to present a framed certificate with the names of all of the LPN students and the inscription to be engraved on the paver: “Your Smiles Are Kisses to Our Souls.”

St. Mary’s CEO WIlliam C. Giermak, Chief Nursing Officer Grace Jabon, RN, and Director of Staff Development Susan Kok, RN, thanked the students for their generosity and service. “We love having students here,” Giermak told them.

The students’ paver will be placed in the brick walkway at St. Mary’s main entrance. Pavers engraved with a loved one’s name or a sentiment are a way to support the children and young adults of St. Mary’s Home and create a lasting memory. For information on how to purchase a paver, click here.






Thomas Nelson Nursing Students Spread Holiday Cheer at St. Mary’s Home

Ashley smiles as nursing students from Thomas Nelson Community College sing “Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer and other classic holiday songs in her classroom at St. Mary’s Home.

First, they took their finals. Then, they came to St. Mary’s Home to spread some holiday cheer. And of course, they brought Santa with them.

Santa and Amonte. 

A group of nursing students from Thomas Nelson Community College finished their final exams this morning, then dropped by the Home to bring presents for the children — and candy canes and chocolates for the nursing staff. They also visited with children in the classrooms and sang Christmas songs.

The nursing students (including Santa) were already familiar with St. Mary’s, having done clinical rotations at the Home. Their holiday visit continues an annual tradition started by Thomas Nelson nursing students in the late 1990s.

“This is something very, very generous for the students to do,” said Susan Kok, St. Mary’s director of staff development, who welcomed the group back to the Home today.

The Thomas Nelson nursing students with Marilou Wilder, far left, and Susan Kok, far right, from St. Mary’s staff.