January 14, 2016 11:28 am

50:50 CAMPAIGN SPOTLIGHT: Abey Sivanesan

Written by Rosali Vela

Winter Mobile Clinics have just started and several students have been fundraising through the 50:50 campaign. This is one of the students who is working in the clinic. Her name is Abey Sivanesan and she is from the University of Western. She had a successful campaign that enabled her to make her trip to Cusco this past week. For more information about the 50:50 campaign click here: 50:50 Campaign

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How did you hear about the 50/50 Campaign? When I originally applied to the trip MEDLIFE sent us e-mails and informed us about the campaign.
 
When did you decided to organized your 50/50 campaign? I actually signed up for the trip really late so I organized the campaign pretty soon right after I signed up. Which was about a month before the trip started.
Did you encounter any obstacles in the process? There were a lot of obstacles in terms of how much money I needed to raise and even asking people for the money. But I was certain that once I was able to explain what MEDLIFE does, people would be willing to help. In the end I was thrilled at the positive reaction towards my fundraising campaign.
 
How was organizing a 50/50 campaign a positive experience and what did you learned from it? I actually really enjoyed it because we stated a movement that highlighted different problems outside of our own country. Educating our friends and family about the developing countries we were visiting helped us receive donations.
 
What do you think about your volunteer trip so far?  I've loved every moment of it! It has been an eye opening experience in terms of what we have seen. It is extremely different from a classroom experience where you read a textbook. We actually get to see it in person, working along side professionals. 
 
How do you feel about the impact you have made through raising money to support people like the ones you are working with during your trip?  I feel really happy that half of the money goes to the people and not all directly to me. Seeing how much money they need and knowing that half of what I am raising goes toward them makes me really happy, because this means they will have more doctors, nurses and more people that will help them. 
 
What advice you have for students organizing a 50/50 campaign? Ask everyone and anyone, don't make any barriers. Ask local businesses, friends family and everyone.
December 22, 2015 3:49 pm

50:50 CAMPAIGN SPOTLIGHT: Sarah Pisula

Written by Rosali Vela

Winter Mobile Clinics have just started and several students have been fundraising through the 50:50 campaign. This is one of the students who is working in the clinic. Her name is Sarah Pisula and she is from FSU. She had a successful campaign that enabled her to make her trip to Cusco this past week. For more information about the 50:50 campaign click here: 50:50 Campaign

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How did you hear about the 50:50 Campaign? I heard about the 50:50 campaign through Florida State University Chapter

Why did you decided to do a 50:50 Campaign? I decided to do it because it wasn't only helping me for the trip, but I knew the whole point of the trip is to help others and to come here and to help the community and the fact that it was going towards me and the community, it was perfect.

How long was your campaign? My campaign was about month, so four weeks before coming here.

How money did you raised? How do you feel about that? I raised $1,800. It's honestly amazing. I had such a great support from family and friends. It's the most amazing thing, because they helped the community and me.

What did you do to me most successful with your 50:50 campaign? I sent e-mails out every day to family and friends. I shared it on Facebook and I also had my parents sharing it on theirs too. I also contacted friends from work and any other connection that I could get that I knew were going to be supportive of this trip.

Did you encounter any obstacles during the process and how did you overcome them? I did not face any obstacles, but I have to admit at first I was a little concern to raise this amount of money because it is kind of hard to just send something out asking for money, but I just wrote the reason why I wanted to go on the trip and it hit everyone's heart. It was honesty what I was writing about and why I wanted the support from them. It wasn't as awkward as I thought it was going to be at all.

How was organizing a positive experience and what did you learn from it? I learned that everyone sees the good in MEDLIFE and to purpose of it and I believe that this gave me the right opportunity to share that.

What do you think about your Volunteer Trip so far? It's been the most eye-opener experience that I've ever had. It's incredible to see how impactful every single thing is.

How do you feel about the impact that you made by raising the money for the people that you worked with this week? It feels awesome seeing it happen in person. Also witnessing the impact that it having on them it's just amazing. It makes me feel happy knowing that the money I raised will help them.

What advice you have for students organizing their own 50:50 campaign? I encourage everyone to do it because first of all, I learned so much from it. You get so much more out of the trip knowing that it's going to go towards something. It's awesome, and it's not even you it's the donations and all the people that are involved. Also it is very important to spread the word and use social media. 

December 22, 2015 8:02 am

50:50 CAMPAIGN SPOTLIGHT: Cole Davidson

Written by Rosali Vela

Winter Mobile Clinics have just started and several students have been fundraising through the 50:50 campaign. This is one of the students who is working in the clinic. His name is Cole Davidson and he is from FSU. He had a successful campaign that enabled him to make his trip to Tena this past week. For more information about the 50:50 campaign click here: 50:50 Campaign

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How did you hear about the 50:50 Campaign? I heard about the 50/50 campaign through first couple MEDLIFE meetings. I understood that 50% of the proceeds that I had raised would go to the MEDLIFE campaign the rest would pay for my trip.

Why did you decide to organize this campaign? At first I thought it was the only way to do it, and so I thought why not? And I ended up doing the 50:50 campaign.

How long was your campaign? The campaign lasted about two to three months.

What did you do to make your campaign successful? I made a lot of calls, I asked people how they felt about donating to a good cause. I explained to them that by contributing to this campaign, they are taking a step towards helping in a very worthwhile effort. They are helping to bring about health equality in other countries.

Did you encounter any obstacles during this process? How did you overcome them? I did not encounter very many obstacles. When I talked with people about how lucky we are that we live in a country with a great health care system and how great it works for us and then explained that other people don't have the luxury of healthcare, they easily understood why this campaign was important. It was not hard to explain to people that this kind of work is taking place all around the world and they can be part of it by contributing to the campaign. Even by talking to them and asking them to donate helped to make people aware of these issues.

How was organizing a 50:50 campaign a positive experience? What did you learn from it? Well, I had to get a lot more donations to be able to come on the trip, but at the same time, it felt more rewarding because I realized half of what I raised was used for a project to help one of the communities that MEDLIFE supports.

What do you think about your Volunteer Trip this week? Well I haven't been on a mission trip in four years, so this was a very life changing experience. I haven't done any trip on a scale such as this, spending a week in another country. I've only traveled internationally two or three times, so this was something completely out of my comfort zone. I didn't know what I was doing at first, and yes, I did feel a little uncomfortable through the week. But I have to say that I broke through those barriers. The relationships I've made and the experiences I've had have left an impact that I will not forget. I will cherish this experience long after I go back to America.

What advice do you have for students considering organizing a 50:50 campaign? Just remember that raising funds for these things is a step in the right direction. By organizing a 50:50 campaign you are helping to provide health care and helping to bring health equality. We have such great health care in the USA and maybe Ecuador or Peru do not, so by doing this you are taking a step in the right direction. You are helping to bring about health equality around the world.

October 27, 2015 3:53 pm

CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT: FSU

Written by Rosali Vela

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 We spoke with the Florida State University Chapter MEDLIFE Health president Aleks Peterson about how they run a succesful MEDLIFE chapter.

When and how did your chapter begin?

Our Florida State University chapter began about 5 years ago when the founding executive eboard heard about MEDLIFE. They all had a passion for medicine, public health, service, therefore MEDLIFE was a great organization that they thought FSU could benefit from. They organized enough members to go through the process of becoming a recognized student organization (RSO) on campus, and after that they were free to hold meetings and recruit people to go on the mobile clinic trips. 

What strategies did you use to promote MEDLIFE on campus? 

I joined the organization my freshman year, which was only MEDLIFE FSU's second year as an RSO, and I remember learning about MEDLIFE through Facebook events that were posted on group pages within FSU's network. I also learned more about the organization by attending our campus's fall involvement fair. But it seemed like Facebook was a main form of promotion, as well as chalking on sidewalks.

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What process does a new member go through once part of the chapter?

For our chapter, we are always accepting new members! Anyone is allowed to volunteer, help with events, and be as involved as they want to be. Within recent years, we have instilled a “Gold Membership” program, where members can earn points through their involvement. The requirements have changed throughout the years, as we have learned what works and what does not. But currently, the requirements to become a Gold Member are that dues must be paid and a minimum of 30 points must be earned throughout the year. When members complete these requirements, we invite them to a banquet at the end of spring semester where we provide food and drinks, present certificates of achievement (and small medical pins), give out superlative awards, and present graduating seniors with chords that they can wear at graduation. It's a nice ceremony that is semi-formal, and it works as a nice incentive to get members more involved throughout the year. 

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What activities do you organize to keep your members interested throughout the year?

We always have something going on for our members to keep them interested. We have annual, large fundraisers like our 5K and sports tournament, as well as smaller activities like volunteer trips to various service organizations. We also keep ourselves involved in all campus initiatives, such as Relay for Life, Light the Night, the Big Event, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, etc. We also plan socials for members to get together and get to know one another. We do this especially around the times in which we are about to send people on mobile clinics, so that they are able to make new friends that they can then go on the trip with. 

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What are your goals as a chapter for this academic year (2015-2016)?

Our goals are always to improve from the previous year. This means recruiting more new members, having more people at our meetings, having more people register for trips, and continue to make a difference within the community. A big goal of ours this year was to make our 5K bigger. With that, we reached out to other pre-health organizations who wanted to co-host the event with us. Last year was our first year providing the option of 2 separate clinic locations at the same time, and that is something we want to keep doing as well as long as there are enough people interested. A couple more goals we have is to have weekly service trips and focus more on fundraising for those going on the trips.

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October 22, 2015 12:04 pm

CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT: UC-DAVIS

Written by Rosali Vela

The UC Davis MEDLIFE chapter has been doing an incredible job this year, they won the MEDLIFE Fundraiser award for 2015, as well as managing to grow their chapter this year. Today we talked with chapter leader Tara Piryaei to find out how they did it.

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When and how did your chapter begin?

Our chapter was started in 2012 by a group of motivated students looking for sustainable change.

What strategies do you use to promote MEDLIFE on campus? 

Much of our strategy involves chalking and flyering in crowded areas with the most freshman. We make sure to sign up for all involvement fairs and club promotion days, and have our executive board and general members make announcements to their classes. Facebook promotion is also very successful and includes posting on multiple UC Davis group pages.

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What system do you use to recruit new members? What process does a new member go through once part of the chapter?

Our new members must accumulate a certain amount of MEDpoints in order to be active members. Members can accumulate MEDpoints through participating in community service, outreach, fundraising, coming to every meeting, and even through attending our socials!

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What activities do you organize to keep your members interested throughout the year? 

We have a large event every quarter that involves a lot of planning, and our members play a big role in planning these events with us. We also bring in various speakers as well as hold multiple workshops, such as a Spanish workshop and a vitals workshop. We start off every meeting with a game to ensure our members are getting to know each other. Occasional free food helps too!

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What are your goals as a chapter for this academic year (2015-2016)?

For the 2015-2016 academic year, we plan on holding a large successful fundraiser each quarter, from Entertainment Showcase, to MEDTalks, to Springsplosion. We hope to gather enough donations from these events to fund a second project. We also strive to send at least 50 people out to mobile clinics over the course of the year. Lastly, we hope to create a lasting bonding with our members that will encourage them to return to our meetings.

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