A massive thank you to Foothill High School, California for sending a group of 18 students from their MEDLIFE chapter to our mobile clinic in Lima last week. We would like to give a big thanks to the initiative and cooperation of these students and their parents.  As minors, the students had to be accompanied by chaperones, something they organised themselves to make the trip a possibility.  It is so amazing to see such determination so early on for these students to get out to Lima and help serve the underprivileged communities we work with!

IMG 6112High school students help MEDLIFE staff set up for the mobile clinic.

IMG 6129Setting up a tent for the tooth brushing station.

IMG 6131A little boy looks on eagerly as the clinic is established in his community.

IMG 6239Tooth brushing is always a popular station at the clinics with around 300 children attending the station each clinic week.

IMG 6457The children in the communities were especially excited to see our volunteers at the clinic.

IMG 6462Some volunteers getting hands on experience at the dental station.

IMG 6726Some of the children playing games with the volunteers after the clinic.

IMG 6778Looks like the community will be sad to see these volunteers go!

A massive thank you to everyone who attended the Lima mobile clinic last week.  Thanks to our volunteers, we were able to treat 481 patients with medical attention, 86 patients were able to see our dentist and 133 got to our OB station.  We are looking forward to continuing to support our high school chapters and seeing more and more high school students at our clinics.    

In July of 2016 MEDLIFE held two trips in collaboration with Broadreach for high school students in Ecuador, where we delivered the same immersive hands-on experience that we do for all of our volunteers. Thank you to all of the volunteers who participated for doing a great job and creating an incredible experience for all involved. Over the two weeks we had 247 general medicine patients, 98 breast exams, 35 pap smears, 49 dental patients, and taught 133 kids how to brush their teeth. We will continue expanding opportunities for high school students so that we can bring the MEDLIFE experience to a whole new group of students. 

IMG 4697Volunteers on a tour of an indigenous market.

IMG 4850

IMG 4954Listening to a patients heartbeat during clinic.

IMG 4969Volunteers working at the dental station, where they saw 49 patients.

IMG 5051Preparing medicine at the dentist station.

IMG 5775

IMG 6532Taking a patients blood pressure.

IMG 6938Applying fluoride at the tooth brushing station.

IMG 6637 Volunteers painted local schools for the development project portion of the trip.

IMG 6196The school wasn't the only thing that got painted!

 

We would like to give a huge thanks and congratulations to Univeristy of Georgia MEDLIFE chapter, who was able to raise an incredible $9476 to put towards the Ecuador earthquake relief fund. Their work will have a significant impace This is what the UGA board had to say about running a succesful chapter and fundraisers. 

2The UGA MEDLIFE chapter volunteering at a local food bank.

How long has your chapter been around?

Our chapter was founded in Fall 2010 with 10 active members.

How big is it?

We had 258 active members in our chapter this year with a 10 member executive board.

What was your reaction when you first heard about the earthquake?

We were shocked and saddened by the news, especially when we realized that the earthquake had such a high magnitude.

How has your chapter fundriased in the past?

Our chapter hosted a benefit concert to raise money to build a bathroom for a school in Tena that was in desperate need of improved sanitation, and UGA students volunteered at a mobile clinic over winter break to help complete the project.

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How did you fundraise so much for the earthquake so quickly?

We feel a personal connection to this part of the world and wanted to do all we could to help! Over the course of our school year at UGA we fundraised money through large events such as our annual Spring 5K and winter benefit concert, as well as through smaller fundraising initiatives such as selling Peruvian scarves bought from MEDLIFE mobile clinics, baked goods, Butter Braids (a baked goods company), and Homeless Help Cards (a phone app used to alleviate poverty). Additionally, we hosted a Kaplan course auction, held many percentage nights at local restaurants, volunteered to clean our UGA stadium, and canned downtown Athens.

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What obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

Making our cause stand out at a university with hundreds of service organizations was definitely a challenge, but communicating our passion for MEDLIFE's mission to others through social media, advertisements, and everyday conversations helped to make our fundraising efforts a success!

What advice do you have for other chapters thinking about sponsoring a project?

Make sure to start planning large fundraising events as early as possible, but also remember to be flexible! Don't be afraid to try new ideas and initiatives. If you share your enthusiasm for the specific project with other students and members of the community, they will be more willing to support you!

How do you feel about the impact you are making with the money you raised?

We are proud of what we have accomplished, and we are very grateful for our members and executive board for their continuous teamwork and dedication to this cause. However, we also realize that our contribution can only alleviate a fraction of the pain and suffering in Ecuador. We hope to return to Tena, Esmeraldas, or Quito on future mobile clinics in order to help rebuild the communities that have become so dear to us.

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Anything else you would like to add?

Although fundraising contributes a great deal to relief efforts, hands-on service is also a key component of global disaster relief. In April, some of our members volunteered with Medshare, a nonprofit organization that organizes and packages unused and surplus medical supplies to send to countries in need. All of the supplies we sorted were sent to Ecuador. Fundraising provides the means for making these relief efforts a reality through service, so we want to emphasize the importance of volunteering to bring Medicine, Education and Development to Low Income Families Everywhere.

 

unnamed 1Sarah Simko

Karis Barret and Sarah Simko collectively raised $1,646 in their 50:50 campaigns. Here is what they had to say about how they ran successful campaigns and their experience on their trips!

Why did you decide to do a 50:50 campaign?

 Karis: To make a difference , even a little difference and try and raise as much money as I could. It also helped with trip fare, which was nice.

Sarah: That was the same way that I found out about it. I found out about it right after I signed up to go on the trip to Peru. And I thought it was a really great way to help contribute to MEDLIFE and the clinics financially.

Karis: I signed up last minute, so about two weeks.  I sent it out to friends and family and asked them to send it to there friends and managed to have some people donate. If I had started earlier, it would have been easier to get more money but I did what I could with the time I had.

unnamedKaris Barrett

 

Sarah: I also signed up for the trip last minute. It took about two weeks to raise the money. I wrote support emails and sent them out to family and friends letting them know about the trip and how their money can make an impact on the people I would be working with in Peru.

What obstacles did you overcome fundraising?

Karis: I'm from Canada, so lots of people didn't realize it was going to be in American dollars. I also had a lot of family members not know how to use paypal. Some times they just got another family member to send money over paypal and gave them cash. Also, people just gave a little bit less because of the exchange rate, which is terrible right now.

Sarah: The paypal issue was my only obstacle. That was an issue for some family members.

Karis: Especially the older ones, they just wanted to put in a credit card. What's this paypal thing?

Sarah: They would call and ask, "How does it work? Can I just not do that, can I just send you money?" … No!

How do you feel about the money you raised and the impact you made?

Sarah: The most memorable part of the trip was being able work one on one with people. And just seeing how loving and grateful they were towards us just made me want to do this more and I felt really good that I was able to raise some money to contribute to the healthcare they needed.

Karis: The most memorable part for me was seeing how grateful everyone was. And seeing how much it was needed just really reinforced why we are doing this. And made me feel better about raising the money that I did and helping buy supplies.

What would you do differently next time?

Karis: Start earlier!

Sarah: Start earlier than I did and send it to more people!

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The MEDLIFE chapter at University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras did an incredible job of fundraising $4,847 for the MEDLIFE project fund. This donation allowed us to finish 5 of our six remaining projects; a prosthetic leg for Roman, a home for Soledad, a staircase for Pompinchu, empower Union Santa Fe, a sandwhich cart for Tatiana and Camila. Ontop of all of this they also managed to put $1000 towards the Urucancha community intern project. Thank you and congratulations to the UPR Rio Piedras MEDLIFE chapter for your outstanding work. 

Tell us about your chapter, how many members do you have, how did you create it, what is your history?

 We have 409 members organized and dedicated to working and giving their best to the needs of communities. MEDLIFE UPR-RP was created in the year 2012 and since then we have demonstrated that the unity of our members is the secret to achieving success in all of our activities.

Why did you decide to start the fundraiser? How did you get the idea and motivation to do it?

 During the last semester, we successfully raised the funds for Santusa's house together with other chapters in Puerto Rico, and MEDLIFE Cayey. But we wanted to impact and reach more people. Our President Alessandra Torres, was revising projects pending in the website this semester and saw that 6 projects still needed to reach their fundraising targets.  Later, we had a meeting where we decided that we would help complete 5 of the projects and give the rest to the one remaining. To contribute to these projects was more than just giving a donation, it meant the commitment and dedication of all of our members to help patients in need; it meant hope, happiness and love from each one of them.

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What activities did you do to raise the money?

During this second semester we held a variety of activities to raise money such as: selling pizza, bake sales, events in restaurants, and a raffle.

What obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

 Actually, the economic situation in our country is not the best, so raising the money took a lot of strength, work and determination. Nevertheless, when we did a strong promotional campaign for each activity we were able to draw the attention of many members, friends and family members who helped complete our goal.

How do you feel knowing that 5 projects have been completed because of your support?

 Honestly, it is something we still cannot believe. We never imagined that our fundraisers would be so successful that we would be able to support all of the projects. We feel extremely grateful for all of the members who were present in each activity and for all of the other people that in some way offered their help and support. The success is not ours alone; it is a success for MEDLIFE.

What are your futures goals, what plans do you have as a chapter?

 In terms of future plans, we would like to continue to give back to projects that are the pillars of our organization: medicine, education and development. We would also like to have our chapter represented in Mobile Clinics, be it in Peru, Ecuador or Nicaragua. 

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