VERMILLION, S.D. – Fourth-year nursing students on the Rapid City campus of the University of South Dakota Department of Nursing were recently recognized with the Spirit of Mercy Award by the national organization Mercy Housing.
The award honors fourth-year USD nursing students over the past three years for their contributions to Mercy Housing, an organization and service that offers affordable housing options to low-income individuals, the homeless, the disabled, and young, single mothers. Senior-level nursing students in Rapid City have been performing volunteer services to Mercy Housing for the past three years as part of a nursing school project. This award recognizes the efforts of many USD nursing students.
In Rapid City, Mercy Housing offers safe, clean and private accommodations in five buildings containing 96 apartments that are available mostly for individuals who were formerly homeless.
The USD nursing students used a survey to determine housing occupant needs such as reliable transportation, good footwear and health care education. A variety of fundraising activities by the students made it possible to purchase bus passes for residents, shoes, socks and clothing for residents, and groceries for the general pantry. The students also provided a foot care clinic, diabetes information and helped prepare meals for residents and the homeless.
“We are very proud of our students for their thoughtful, ongoing dedication to this important cause,” said Tami Kisner, nursing instructor at the School of Health Sciences and coordinator of the student service project that aided Mercy Housing. “We try to instill in all our students a sense of community service, and our fourth-year students have demonstrated that with their meaningful work.”