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Left to right: Krista Markham, Kenna Howard, Tammie Porter, Maria Chacon, Angelique Davila, Tami Alexander, Felicia Holguin,  Kimberly Talamantes, Maribel Gonzales, and Martha Aguirre in front of a new van to be used to transport residents of Great Plains Nursing and Rehabilitaiton

Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center in Dumas is in the middle of a drive to collect school supplies to donate to students in need who will shortly be returning to school for the new year.  Krista Markham, Director of Marketing and Admissions at Great Plains Nursing and Rehabilitation in Dumas says the staff, residents, and families of Great Plains want to help.  They are inviting members of the community to bring school supplies to the nursing home at 315 East 19th Street in Dumas by Tuesday evening.  "One of them (employees at Care Net)is connected as a family member out here, so we offered to do this for her and let her mom participate, so we are going to make a donation Tuesday night to Care Net for their school supply drive," said Markham.

Markham says the nursing home has monthly family nights for residents and their families.  The events usually have a theme, and since August is the time for students to go back to school, August's event is a "Back to School Bash."

"Our residents love children.  They love to have kiddos come visit and get hugs and say, 'Hi.'  And they also know the importance of furthering a child's education, so that is why they are excited to be able to contribute school supplies and help send our local kiddos to school with everything they need to be successful," she said.  "The night of the event we invite our resident families and their kiddos.  We usually fill the place up pretty good … we will have a bouncer and lots of fun food.  It is part of our activities.  Activities are vitally important for the elderly community … that almost becomes part of their therapy and treatment in a facility like this."

Markham says another reason they are participating in the drive is to say thank you and give back to the community for the help several local entities offered Great Plains during a period when the nursing home was without a functioning van.  "We just happened to get our new van this week.  Our corporate office, Creative Solutions in Health Care, found us a brand new state-of-the-art van.   We had a lot of people come in and help us during the interim when our van was giving us fits:  Moore County Emergency Medical Services, Memorial Nursing, Amarillo Center for Skilled Care, Caprock Nursing in Borger, Panhandle Transport, Moore County Hospital District.  Everybody just pitched in together to make sure that we had all of our transport gaps covered while we were without a van, and now that we have one, we want to do a little something to give back, which is why the school supplies for Care Net."

Markham says a van, with extra safety features, is critical for a facility like Great Plains.  "We have about 60 residents that all require regular check ups, dialysis, other doctors' visits … when it is local, it is easier to juggle, but when we have to go to and from Amarillo, that becomes more of a logistical challenge.  Our residents require transport on a daily basis.  We go back and forth to Amarillo every day… we may go to Spearman or Borger to pick up a new resident.  We put a lot of miles on a vehicle."

For more information, call Krista Markham at (806) 935-4143.

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