HURST — In the surgical technology class at Tarrant County College, not only do students get hands-on training, but they're also learning an important lesson in community service.
Through the gLOVE Project, they collect and deliver gloves, mittens, scarves and more for those less fortunate.
"I just believe that the profession these students are training for as surgical technologists is a profession that is giving and compassionate for mankind," said associate professor Cindy Mask. "I think every student — especially in college — needs to give back to their communities."
The gLOVE Project, made up entirely of student volunteers, has provided warm clothes for victims of domestic violence at the Safe Haven Shelter for the last four years.
Cindy Mask and the gLOVE Project donated 250 pieces of clothing the first year. This year they'll donate more than 2,000.
Safe Haven spokeswoman Valerie Salter says when young recipients get gloves or any type of clothing, you should see the look on their faces.
"They're going through a really difficult time in their life, and to be able to bring a smile with a pair of neat pink gloves or a cool scarf, it's just a good feeling," Salter said. "It's a wonderful feeling."
Because of the economy, the gLOVE Project is expanding beyond Safe Haven this winter and reaching out to more people who need a helping hand.
"I feel very, very lucky and blessed that I have the opportunity to be here and I have the opportunity to stay warm even with my surgical attire," said student Terra Jaine Hayslip. "But for other people who may not be as lucky as us to at least be able to stay warm and to make it through the night."
And that's why we name Cindy Mask and her surgical technology class at Tarrant County College today's Our Neighbor.
The gLOVE Project could always use a helping hand itself. If you would like more information on how to make a contribution, contact me at the e-mail address below. Also, if you have any ideas on someone we could honor in an upcoming Our Neighbor segment, send me your ideas.