DMC Alum Sends Encouragement to Nursing Home Residents During COVID-19

May 4, 2020
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DMC Alum and Dordt University senior Ebby Prewitt is partnering with students at DMC to send letters to residents and healthcare workers in nursing homes in both Des Moines and Sioux Center, Iowa.

During her time at Dordt, Prewitt spent two years serving as a CNA at Royale Meadows Care Center. She also works at Wesley Acres when she is at home in Des Moines. Due to COVID-19 regulations, visitors to these spaces are very limited, and Prewitt sought to fill that void.

“These people have such a huge place in my heart, as do the doctors, PAs, nurse practitioners, nurses, and CNAs that care for these people every day and become their family,” says Prewitt. “I would love to send as many letters to patients or thank you letters to healthcare workers as possible.”

Prewitt realized that it would be difficult for DMC students to fulfill their service hour requirement while social distancing and staying at home. Prewitt reached out to the school to suggest that students could write letters to nursing home residents to fulfill their requirement.

“When Ebby contacted us with this idea to respond to a timely, relevant community need, we quickly realized it was a great match,” says Cory Nikkel, director of spiritual life at DMC. “Students jumped at the chance to reserve specific names in the nursing homes that they could become a pen pal with during this stage of social isolation. It was inspiring to see our students look at this not just as a one-time letter, but a relationship that could be continuously developed.”

Prewitt will be graduating from Dordt University with a degree in biology and a minor in psychology. Following graduation this spring, she plans to pursue graduate school to become a physician assistant.

“At Dordt, we want our students to find ways they can make an impact within their profession, and it is exciting to see Ebby doing that,” says Dr. Erik Hoekstra, president of Dordt University. “One of my favorite parts of my job is hearing how students are serving others in their local community.”

Prewitt has letter collection boxes at her home in Des Moines and is also accepting letters by mail or by email.

“We are so thankful for people like Ebby who care for and think of our residents during these challenging days,” says Karen Bentsen, senior services officer at Sioux Center Health, who is the administrator at Royale Meadows. “We are so thankful for everyone who has sent artwork, letters, cards and goodies to hand out to the people that live here. Ebby’s caring heart was evident while she worked with the residents at Royale Meadows, and even when she isn’t here, she is thinking of ways to touch their lives!” 

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. For four years in a row, Dordt has been named number one in the nation for student engagement by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report,, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review. To learn more, visit

For more than 70 years, Des Moines Christian School has been equipping minds and nurturing hearts to impact the world for Christ. DMC provides K-12 education as well as early education and preschool to more than 1,000 students.