NCTC Students Spread Cheer at Local Nursing Home with Pumpkin Delivery


NCTC’s Medical Professions students with their pumpkin delivery for the Franklin County Rehab Center. Photo credit: Dino Patsouris

Adelyne Collin, Editor

Students of the Northwest Career and Technical Center (NCTC) Medical Professions program spent part of their program time decorating and delivering pumpkins to the residents of Franklin County Rehab Center in Saint Albans. 

Julie Faas, an NCTC Medical Professions instructor who started the event in her first year at NCTC, said “This is an annual tradition in its thirteenth year.”

She added, “The idea started with a focus on community service and getting the students out into the community—we thought outside of the box and built the relationship with [Franklin County Rehab Center] to do something nice for the residents and expose our students to this type of environment.“

Traditionally, students look forward to meeting with the residents, touring the facility and learning more about career opportunities in nursing homes.  

“It’s a nice icebreaker for our students to sit down with an elderly person that isn’t necessarily their own grandparent and start a conversation,” said Tim Hurteau, a Medical Professions co-instructor. “It’s a great opportunity to bridge a generational gap…our students have always considered it a positive and meaningful experience.”

This event marks the second year that students have been unable to enter the facility as a result of complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Sadly, our students weren’t able to have those interactions this year, but we were able to come up with an alternative that was positively impactful for both our students and their residents,” Hurteau added. 

This year, the Medical Professions program continued to carve pumpkins for the residents, but altered the delivery to comply with safety protocols. A parade around the building was arranged, and smiling residents waved at the students and they carried their pumpkins to each of their windows and wished them a happy Halloween. After the parade, the pumpkins were left on display by the front entrance for residents and staff to view throughout the weekend.