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Nursing students help to rebuild

October 21, 2011 12:00AM

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PSU nursing students Hanna Hunsinger, left, and Amanda Walker move materials at 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' Thursday.

It's quite possible that many in their crew could not drive a nail straight, but one group of Pittsburg State University students has discovered they can help with the ongoing "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" in their own way.

About 50 students and faculty in PSU's nursing degree programs worked the chilly overnight hours at the site on Thursday and Friday doing everything from passing out bottled water to carrying supplies and clearing the sites of rapidly growing mounds of scrap lumber.

Faith Naccarato, a senior nursing student from Frontenac, Kan., said their jobs have been to help the professionals and PSU Construction Management students who have been working non-stop on the houses.

"These people have been donating their time, so the least we can do is donate our time to help them."

Gena Coomes, an instructor in PSU's Department of Nursing and an organizer of the volunteer effort, said the nursing students' volunteer effort was a natural extension of some of the work that faculty and students performed in the hours and days after the tornado.

"A lot of us were able to help with triage areas at community shelters and at the Leggett and Platt Arena on May 22 after the tornado," Coomes said, "so it was only fitting for us to come back and help with the rebuild."

Bailey Bloomingdale, a senior from Olathe, said working at the site made them feel like a part of the community.

"A lot of us did our clinicals at St. John's last semester," Bloomingdale said. "To see it destroyed has been hard, but to come back and help the community rebuild has been wonderful."

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