MCCC nurs­ing stu­dents brighten hol­i­days for mil­i­tary fam­i­lies

The Southern Berks News - - LOCAL NEWS - For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

For the sev­enth year, Mont­gomery County Com­mu­nity Col­lege’s Stu­dent Nurs­ing Club has par­tic­i­pated in the na­tional Trees for Troops ini­tia­tive, pro­vid­ing 170 Christ­mas trees for mil­i­tary fam­i­lies to make their hol­i­days brighter and hap­pier.

Each year, nurs­ing stu­dents hold fundrais­ers to pur­chase the trees at a dis­counted price. This year, the stu­dents raised $600 by sell­ing raf­fle tick­ets for a do­nated HP 15-inch lap­top at the an­nual Whit­pain Com­mu­nity Fes­ti­val.

On Nov. 30, nurs­ing stu­dents Kim­berly Fortino-Chap­les of Lans­dale, Sun­day Bassey of Nor­ris­town and Ken­dra Schultz of Birdsboro, along with Dr. Concetta Fiorentino, Nurs­ing Fac­ulty/Stu­dent Nurse Club Ad­vi­sor, and Dr. Linda Roy, the Di­rec­tor of the Nurs­ing Pro­gram joined mem­bers of the Penn­syl­va­nia Na­tional Guard, leg­is­la­tors, state and lo­cal of­fi­cials and other com­mu­nity mem­bers at Bus­tard’s Christ­mas Trees in Lans­dale to launch the na­tional Trees for Troops week­end cam­paign.

Own­ers Jay and Glenn Bus­tard in­vited the stu­dents be­cause they are “one of the most ac­tive groups” to part­ner with Bus­tard’s to sup­port this spe­cial ini­tia­tive that sends Christ­mas trees to mil­i­tary fam­i­lies and troops.

“I al­ways en­joy work­ing with the stu­dents from Mont­gomery County Com­mu­nity Col­lege. It’s nice to see peo­ple give back,” said Jay Bus­tard. “We have par­tic­i­pated in Trees for Troops pro­gram since it started 14 years ago.”

Na­tion­wide, more than 17,400 trees were de­liv­ered to 70 mil­i­tary bases across the coun­try, and 250 trees were de­liv­ered to troops last year, ac­cord­ing the Trees for Troops web­site. FedEx ships the trees from the tree farms to the mil­i­tary bases for free.

Fortino-Chap­les, a U.S. Army vet­eran, knows first­hand how dif­fi­cult it is to be away from fam­ily dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. She spoke at the event about her ex­pe­ri­ence and why the nurs­ing stu­dents want to help with this pro­gram.

“We want to help mil­i­tary fam­i­lies who are miss­ing loved ones dur­ing the hol­i­days by giv­ing them Christ­mas trees,” she said, not­ing that they would be do­nat­ing 25 trees this year.

The nurs­ing stu­dents also are a part of Join­ing Forces, a na­tional ini­tia­tive started by for­mer First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Bi­den. This pro­gram en­cour­age or­ga­ni­za­tions and schools to train nurses in the unique clin­i­cal chal­lenges and best prac­tices as­so­ci­ated with car­ing for mil­i­tary ser­vice mem­bers, vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies.

Trees for Troops was launched by the Christ­mas SPIRIT Foun­da­tion in 2005. Since then, more than 193,237 real trees have been de­liv­ered to mil­i­tary fam­i­lies through­out the United States and over­seas. Trees are con­tributed by Bus­tard’s and about 30 other Christ­mas tree grow­ers and re­tail lots in the U.S. To learn more, visit http://

About Mont­gomery County Com­mu­nity Col­lege

For more than 50 years, Mont­gomery County Com­mu­nity Col­lege has grown with the com­mu­nity to meet the evolv­ing ed­u­ca­tional needs of Mont­gomery County. The Col­lege’s com­pre­hen­sive cur­ricu­lum in­cludes more than 100 as­so­ciate de­gree and cer­tifi­cate pro­grams, as well as cus­tom­ized work­force train­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions. Stu­dents en­joy the flex­i­bil­ity of learn­ing at the Col­lege’s thriv­ing cam­puses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culi­nary Arts In­sti­tute in Lans­dale, and on­line through a ro­bust Vir­tual Cam­pus.

As an Achiev­ing the Dream Leader Col­lege, the in­sti­tu­tion is po­si­tioned at the vanguard of na­tional ef­forts to in­crease com­ple­tion, im­prove learn­ing out­comes, and re­move bar­ri­ers to ac­cess for stu­dents. The Col­lege also is rec­og­nized re­gion­ally and na­tion­ally for its sus­tain­abil­ity lead­er­ship, work with mil­i­tary vet­er­ans, com­mu­nity ser­vice and ser­vice learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, and use of class­room tech­nol­ogy. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit


Mont­gomery County Com­mu­nity Col­lege’s Stu­dent Nurs­ing Club raised money to do­nate 25 Christ­mas trees to brighten the hol­i­days for mil­i­tary fam­i­lies as part of the na­tional Trees for Troops ini­tia­tive. From left: MCCC Nurs­ing Fac­ulty/Stu­dent Nurse Club Ad­vi­sor Dr. Concetta Fiorentino, stu­dent Ken­dra Schultz, stu­dent/vet­eran Kim­berly Forti­noChap­les, stu­dent Sun­day Bassey and MCCC Nurs­ing Pro­gram Di­rec­tor Dr. Linda Roy.

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