A group of respiratory therapy students from American Career College helped distribute food to feed homeless children in Orange and Los Angeles counties this September.
Led by respiratory therapy student ambassador Kelly McLaughlin, the RT seniors volunteered with the Buena Park-based nonprofit organization Giving Children Hope by helping pack and load food in vehicles for approximately 300 families.
Despite only volunteering for a few hours, McLaughlin said the group was pleased they could help so many people in such a short amount of time.
“It went so well, and we all had fun doing it. It would be really cool to see more classes take part in this. I know several people from my class that will be volunteering again on their own after we graduate,” McLaughlin said. “I didn’t know how much our volunteering would help them out and benefit the families so much.”
Working with the “We’ve Got Your Back” program, the ACC-Orange County students loaded boxes of produce, meat, dairy, and more into the cars. Families in the program have been identified by school partners as having risk factors such as housing insecurity, food insecurity, and or lack of employment.
ACC-OC respiratory therapy program director Eli Cosa said he wasn’t surprised that the seniors agreed to help during their personal time.
“This was the cohort that started three weeks prior to the pandemic. Through all the challenges faced over the last year and a half, this group is an example of thriving through difficulty and it is no surprise to see them living out their values,” Cosa said. “Giving hope is the respiratory way.”