HOSA students bring joy to healthcare workers


As healthcare workers continue to stand on the front lines of COVID-19, students are finding ways to give back and recognize all of their hard work and dedication. The student organization HOSA stands for Health Occupation Students of America. Senior Linden Mountain, the HOSA president, and senior Kaylea Gawf, the senior vice president, helped organize and assemble goodie bags to give out to local healthcare workers.

“It’s a really great way for people who don’t know what they want to do in the medical field for them to just explore the sciences and to just get awareness about the medical population in the area,” Gawf said. 

The goal of HOSA is to promote various healthcare career opportunities to students who are interested in the healthcare field. A big part of HOSA includes taking part in medical community service which allows students to get hands-on experience.  After community liaisons helped advise HOSA students, they started planning their goodie bags for healthcare workers. 

“We were just trying to think of ways to support our healthcare workers during these times and ways that help the other students in participating in community service without putting them in unnecessary risk,” Gawf said. “So we thought giving away goodie bags would be a really good way to just support everyone.”

HOSA students brought in a variety of different snacks to contribute to the goodie bags. The bags to healthcare workers included candy, gum, crackers, fruit snacks, and trail mix. Attached to the bags was a note written by students to healthcare workers as well. HOSA members were able to help put the bags together throughout the school day. 

“By bringing these items, they were able to earn an hour towards their community service requirement,” Mountain said. “HOSA members and officers assembled the goodie bags during free time throughout finals week. Members and officers were able to sign up for a time slot to add the treats to the bag and tie the letters on.”

Once the goodie bags were carefully assembled by students, Mountain and Gawf volunteered to drop the bags off at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville. Due to the pandemic, they were unable to personally hand out the bags inside the hospital as they might have liked.

“Due to COVID restrictions at Washington Regional, we were not able to deliver the bags directly to the health care workers,” Mountain said. We arranged to drop them off with office staff, and they gave them to the units.”

COVID-19 has brought people together in many ways. During these tough times, HOSA students have continued to shine through and show generosity through their actions. 

I thought that it was a great way to show our appreciation for healthcare workers during this time, especially because HOSA aims to serve the medical community,” Mountain said. “With service projects looking different this year, I thought that this was a neat way to still reach the medical community without breaking COVID restrictions.”