Volunteer Numbers Increase to Make a Difference in Local Communities

This fall, OUWB turned National Make a Difference Day into a weekend of community events that expanded to more locations and enabled more students than ever to volunteer. The biomedical science faculty members and the medical education staff with COMPASS organized healthy and educational activities with community partners during key weekend hours so that more could be accomplished.

Seven student teams delivered meals to homebound seniors in Oakland County for the Meals on Wheels program associated with the Older Persons Commission. In addition to helping in the Detroit Brightmoor neighborhood at Mission City, volunteers headed over to The Baldwin Center in Pontiac, and an event called Scare Away Hunger with the Make a Wish Foundation.

“One thing all students will gain from this experience is enhanced interpersonal skills and an understanding of the communities they will be serving in the future,” said Jean Szura, Ph.D., director of Service Learning. “They can also see first-hand, how what they are learning in the classroom translates to the community. Clinical or not, what they will be helping with on Make a Difference Weekend will impact the health and wellness of the community.”

On a personal note, Medical Student Government President Eboni Reed, class of 2018, reflected on a few more reasons that motivated her to dedicate her time on this weekend.  

“My goal this year is to have an impact on my colleagues by showing them what we are able to do together. Even when we graduate and go our separate ways we will remember this experience and go on showing others what everyone can do to make a difference somewhere and somehow,” said Reed.

In total, the weekend volunteer count added up to its highest ever – more than 100 – and delivered a rewarding dose of a “community serving its community” for everyone involved.

For photos, please visit the COMPASS Facebook page.