Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine’s Josh Project Raises Funds to Benefit the JNF General Hospital Pediatric Ward

The Josh Project, a student organization at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) has set a new record for fundraising to benefit the pediatric ward of the Joseph N. France General Hospital. This semester the Josh Project raised more than EC $14,000.

The Josh Project’s goal is to help children overcome many of the fears they experience when faced with a hospital visit. Student members develop the skills necessary to help them become more involved and successful within their communities after graduation and see participation in the Josh Project as an opportunity to teach children about the special bond that humans share with animals. By using the human-animal bond in a unique and uplifting way, the project is able to promote the value of pets in our families.

“In humans, we’ve seen the relationship with animals have an affect such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and even decreasing anxiety, which is where the Josh Project really fits,” said assistant professor Dr. Shari Lanning during the University’s monthly radio show, Animal Answers on WINNFM 98.9.

The Josh Project facilitates the purchase of items such as rocking chairs, coloring books, and most importantly, the Josh Kits, which, come with a plush Josh puppy and aI’ll be O.K. children’s book. The book follows Josh the dog through his hospital experience in hopes to mirror the similar experiences the children are facing at the hospital and reminding them that throughout those experiences/adventures that they will be okay.

This semester’s fundraising activities included an on-campus coin fundraiser competition and sale of various RUSVM insignia items which raised more than EC $4,500. Additionally the organization held a professor/staff cook-off where faculty and staff prepared a favorite dish for competition; while attendees participated in outdoor activities such as beanbag toss, soccer, and finger painting.

In addition, a new fundraiser for the semester, the Warriors for the Josh Project, was held on Sat, Nov. 24, at Christophe Harbour’s Beach House. Yoga instructor, Mrs. Caroline Nash, conceived the idea developed a half-day of yoga-inspired exercise and meditation. Five instructors volunteered their time during the event, which successfully contributed more than EC $2,900 to the Josh Project.

Ms. Meghan Ruck, RUSVM fourth semester student and chairperson of the student group, explained why the Josh Project is so important to its student members.

“The fundraising events that are held in honor of the Josh Project, such as the Josh Project Warriors, Josh Project Coin Fundraiser Week, and the Josh Project Professor/Staff Cook-Off, truly fuel our abilities to fulfill our mission,” she said. “It is through these fundraising events that we are able to raise the funds needed to purchase and ship the Josh Kits to St. Kitts. These kits are the key to our goal of bringing comfort to the children of St. Kitts receiving care at the JNF General Hospital Pediatric Ward.”

During the semester, students involved in the Josh Project made three visits to the JNF Hospital to donate Josh Kits to patients in the Pediatric Ward. The RUSVM Josh Project team has plans for furthering their commitment to the children with future activities and donations. The support that the Josh Project receives from the RUSVM and the St. Kitts community are crucial to the student organization’s mission to provide comfort to the children in St. Kitts.

“Working together as a community, creates a sense of inspiration that each of us can have an impact on the lives of children–volunteering with the Josh Project has allowed me to understand the deep meaning of that impact even more,” said Ruck.

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