- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director
Afterward, most everyone agreed: The room smelled like peanut butter.
And it felt really, really good.
On Tuesday, CHS faculty and staff came together in The Commons to make 187 sack lunches and 53 additional sandwiches, for the Lexington Hope Center’s HopeMobile, which provides help with food, clothing and healthcare to those in need.
Every year, the CHS Staff Council tries to engage in at least one service project, whether on-campus or off, explained Caroline Bartmess, Staff Council Chair and the College’s Director of Alumni Relations.
“This year, we heard there was a need for lunches for HopeMobile,” she said. “Everyone knows it’s been a tough time with inflation and living in a post-COVID world, so we really just wanted to do something simple that could make a big impact in the community.
“The HopeCenter’s HopeMobile operates daily, and there is such a tremendous need for help in our community,” she continued. “It may only be one day, but we hope to inspire other groups to do the same to create a ripple effect of service projects within our UK community and beyond.”
Those on Staff Council (which is made up of Lana Ogle, Kelly Calia, Will Bickers and Christa Jennings) said the group wanted to provide an opportunity for people to give back in a tangible way, to get out of their workspaces and give back to the greater Lexington community.
The event was a hit: More than 20 faculty and staff showed up to make lunches, and many more donated supplies and money to support the project.
“It really was wonderful to work as a team to meet the needs of others,” said Janice Kuperstein, PhD, PT, MSEd, FNAP, and Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement & Clinical Engagement. “I do think it’s especially nice when the UK college community works together. There were faculty and staff, and in working together, the conversation turned to the people we were serving and the importance of this work.”
“The whole room smelled like peanut butter, and everyone was laughing and talking about what kind of sandwiches they liked, and if they still ate peanut butter and jelly,” Bartmess said. “There was definitely a sense of joy to be able to be together doing something, and also knowing that it was going to help someone hopefully have a better day.”
She said that while the mood was light, the seriousness of the need was not lost on the group.
“I think everyone understood the seriousness of homelessness in our community — especially at this time of year, when the weather can be really dangerous,” she said. “Since we really focus on health professions and providing excellent care in our College, I think this service project really reflected the hearts of the people who work in the health professions fields. They care deeply and want to do everything they can to help others.”