Students in the Elms College chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association held a fundraiser to benefit veterans in the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke.

The Elms College chapter of the NSSLHA, all communication sciences and disorders majors, say they have a passion for helping people.

Student Group Makes Donation to Soldiers' Home

The Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke often receives donations from various supporters and civic groups. However, a recent gift from Elms College students was the first time they received a donation from a student group specifically intended to help veterans undergoing therapy.

That donation came from the Elms College chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA). The chapter’s main goal is to raise public awareness of communication sciences and disorders (CSD). The 72 member chapter provides a public service to the college community by raising awareness on hearing disorders, setting up information tables in the cafeteria, and assisting local nonprofits through annual fundraising events. Each year the chapter coordinates up to four events over the course of two semesters.

After visiting the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke with advisor John Gould, Ph.D.,assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders, the chapter members, all CSD majors, decided to select the veterans facility and support their communication therapy services. Last December the group organized a gift basket silent auction, their largest event, that raised $700.

“Supporting veterans is very important to us and many in our college community have family members who have had loved ones at the home, so people were very familiar with the Soldiers’ Home,” said Mia Archambault ’15, secretary of the Elms College NSSLHA chapter.

“We were really impressed with the quality of care and the warm atmosphere the home provided the veterans,” said Jillian Francis ’14, vice president of the Elms College NSSLHA chapter.

Founded in 1972, NSSLHA is the national professional organization for students interested in the study of communication disorders. Elms College NSSLHA is one of just over 300 chapters located on college and university campuses in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Greece, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Membership in NSSLHA offers students access to current advancements in the fields of audiology, speech-pathology and speech-hearing research as well as academic resources to support classroom and clinical work, job and internship postings and career network opportunities with other students in their field of study. In addition to the Soldier’s Home in Holyoke, students also made a donation to the Therapeutic Equestrian Center, which helps children and adults with special needs through horseback riding.

“We have a passion for helping people,” Jill said.