Throughout January, we’ve been reflecting MEDLIFE’s core values and how we can all put them into practice to create moments of empowerment this year. We’ve compiled these ‘resolutions’ into a blog post so that you can, track your progress, keep them in mind, and maximize your impact throughout the year!

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MED Resolution 1: Listen to others 

At MEDLIFE, we believe that no one knows the needs of our partner communities better than the community members themselves! Through listening to the community’s self-identified needs, we create moments of empowerment that make a meaningful and sustainable difference. 

We put this into practice by spending many hours, usually at night, meeting with the communities. When the working day is over, the entire community can attend and we can make sure everyone’s points of view are heard!

In 2020, we encourage you to join us in empowering others by listening with an open heart and mind during your SLT and at home!

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MED Resolution 2: Address root causes 

One of the ways that MEDLIFE empowers communities is by creating sustainable solutions that target the root causes of poverty. 

We’re putting this into action right now by supporting the community of Union Santa Fe on their journey to obtaining Land Title. Throughout our many years of working with Union Santa Fe, we realized that lack of Land Title is one of the root causes that keep the community living in poverty. 

Without Land Title, they are unable to access municipal services (like running water) and financial services (like loans for family businesses). By empowering them to overcome this problem, we aim to create a pathway out of poverty.

In 2020, we encourage you to create moments of empowerment by supporting projects that focus on the root causes of poverty. You can do this by donating to our #WallsThatUnify project.

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MED Resolution 3: Create sustainable change 

Even after our volunteers return home, MEDLIFE’s in-country staff continue empowering low-income communities all year-round. 

When our Mobile Clinic doctors identify a patient who requires ongoing treatment, they are enrolled in our Patient Follow-Up Program. After the clinic ends, our field nurses make sure that the patient continues to receive medical treatment via the local health system.

You can empower others and create sustainable change by joining a Service Learning Trip in 2020! With just one week of your time, you support the work we do creating moments of empowerment 365 days a year.

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MED Resolution 4: Be a community organizer

When you set out to build a global Movement, you learn to create connections, strengthen relationships, and nurture a worldwide community. We aim to show every person that comes into contact with MEDLIFE, from our volunteers to our patients, that there is a place for them in our Movement.

Our in-country staff put this into practice everyday by working with low-income communities to build trust and organize projects and Mobile Clinics. Meanwhile, our amazing Chapters and Societies work to spread the Movement back home so we can grow our impact. 

From starting a Chapter to organizing a Service Learning Trip, you can put your community organizing skills into action with MEDLIFE. Let’s make 2020 a year of coming together to create moments of empowerment across the globe!

For more resources on how to be a fantastic community organizer, check out our YouTube channel!

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MED Resolution 5: Work hand in hand with others

We’re striving to create a world free from the constraints of poverty, but we know that we can only achieve this by working together! That’s why we work with local health systems and build partnerships to increase our impact in low-income communities. 

In Cusco, our team regularly collaborates with the Peruvian Government’s PAÍS program to bring basic services to rural communities in the region. In Tena, our team works hand in hand with Sumak Kawsay Wasi - an organization that supports communities throughout Napo Province. 

Your MEDLIFE Chapter or Society can put this resolution into practice by organizing events with other Chapters (shout out to MEDLIFE King’s College London and MEDLIFE University College London for their inter-chapter basketball comp!) or by forging volunteering partnerships with local organizations (check out MEDLIFE Northern Virginia’s partnership with INMED). 

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MED Resolution 6: Solve problems through creativity and innovation 

Over 15 years ago, Dr. Nick Ellis encountered a problem while volunteering as a translator for short-term medical mission trips: The medical clinics were only in town for one week and couldn’t provide seriously ill patients with the ongoing medical care they needed.  

This experience inspired Nick to create the MEDLIFE model. With local medical staff providing high-quality healthcare year-round in low-income communities, we have disrupted and improved upon the traditional medical mission model. By thinking innovatively and creatively, we can maximize our impact and facilitate sustainable change!

You can learn more about MEDLIFE’s origins and develop your own creative problem-solving skills by joining us on Leadership Corps 2020. Apply via today via Campus Labs!


MED Resolution 7: Be a passionate advocate for the poor 

Our hope is that that your Service Learning Trip inspires you to become a passionate advocate for equal access to healthcare, education, and a safe home. After personally witnessing poverty and working hand in hand with community members, we encourage you to take on their struggles as your own,  amplify their voices, and join our global Movement for a world free from the constraints of poverty. 

You can be a passionate advocate for change and empower others by spreading the MEDLIFE Movement on your campus and beyond. Bring your friend on an SLT, get involved in your local MEDLIFE Chapter/Society, or start a Chapter at your university!

‘Tis the season to be jolly! Spread the holiday cheer with MEDLIFE this year by creating moments of empowerment. Here are 6 ideas to get you started: 

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1. Donate to our Walls That Unify project 

This year, we’re raising funds to build retention walls in the community of Union Santa Fe as part of our Walls That Unify project. These families live in a human settlement on a precarious hillside in one of the world’s major earthquake zones. Without retention walls to protect their homes, they live under the constant threat of disaster.

Would you consider donating $50 to help bring a safer home to Union Santa Fe this holiday season? You can even donate in honor of your loved ones to say thank you for providing you with a safe home for the holidays! Donate here.

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2. Organize a fundraiser

Gather your friends, organize a fun activity, AND raise funds for a good cause! What better way could there possibly be to embrace the holiday spirit?!! To make things even easier for you, we’ve put together this list of creative fundraiser ideas to get you inspired! 

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3. Sign up for a Service Learning Trip 

Service Learning Trips give you the opportunity to travel to Peru, Ecuador, or Tanzania, and work hand in hand with the local community on development projects and mobile medical clinics. These trips are designed to enhance your understanding of extreme poverty, personally connect you with low-income communities, and (hopefully) inspire you to join us in creating a world free from the constraints of poverty! Register here.

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4. Refer a friend  

Have you been personally impacted by your MEDLIFE experience? Did you learn something new during your Service Learning Trip? Do you feel empowered by empowering others? Do you even just think our t-shirts are really cool?

Spread the cheer and MEDLIFE love by telling all your friends to come on a Service Learning Trip! Not only does this give you the chance to travel with your friends, but it also grows our impact in low-income communities across the globe. The more the merrier!⠀

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5. Travel with Good Life Expeditions

Did you know that we have a partner travel agency? Whether you’re traveling as a volunteer or just looking for a Latin American/African getaway, every trip booked through Good Life Expeditions supports MEDLIFE’s work. Start ticking places off your travel bucket list by booking a trip for 2020!

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6. Shop for gear that gives back

In the age of minimalism and Marie Kondo, we all know that we’re only allowed to own things that ‘spark joy.’ This holiday season, you can spark joy for yourself and others by going for a guilt-free shopping spree on our online store. Not only is our merch actually adorable, but it also helps us build retention walls in Union Santa Fe.

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7. FOR BONUS POINTS: Apply to intern with us 

(if you made it this far in our post, you deserve a BONUS so here’s number 7)

Are you a passionate MEDLIFE Chapter leader interested in public health, international development, community organizing, and NGO communications? Our internship applications are opening very soon! Watch this space for more info very soon. 

Compiled by two ex-Chapter Presidents-turned-MEDLIFE staff (Emma from New York and Sophia from London) this list of student fundraiser ideas is guaranteed to earn you the big bucks (or pounds!). With our Walls That Unify campaign in full swing, we decided to put our linguistic differences aside for the good of the Movement and give you 15 student fundraiser ideas that will work on both sides of the pond!

1. Power Hour

We borrowed this idea from the amazing Indiana University Chapter (check out their MED Week Fundraiser here!) Get your Chapter or Society to dedicate one intense hour to calling anyone and everyone they can think of and try to raise as much money as possible. Set up as if you were a trading floor, play upbeat music and get someone to emcee the hour to create an electric atmosphere! Indiana had a screen with everyone’s fundraising totals to get members competing for the most donations!


2. Water Pong Tournament

Encourage your Chapter/Society members to partake in some friendly competition AND stay hydrated with a water pong tournament. Set up a bracket and have teams pay to enter. The winning team receives a prize of your choice - get creative, you know your universities better than we do!


3. Puppy Kissing Booth

Enlist the help of your furry friends and set up a kissing booth in a public area of your university. Charge students to get some puppy lovin’ and destress from a hectic week!


4. Sports Tournament

Use your student fundraiser to get competitive! Take advantage of your University’s sports facilities to organize a sports tournament of your choice, this can be a standard 5-a-side football (yes, the original type) tournament or go for the full Dodgeball-esque experience. Get people to enter their teams, and each team pays a fee to enter! Organize a prize for the champions and a participation prize for the teams who actually believe that ‘it’s just the taking part that counts’ (also known as LOSERS).


5. Gaming for Good

Hold a gaming night at your university where students can enter to play their favoUrite (go UK) video games for charity. Whether you do it in the form of a 24-hour marathon or a tournament is completely up to you but this is a great way to get more people involved in your fundraising!


6. Casino Royale

Host a Casino themed night - either a whole night of black-tie (in true Daniel Craig style) or a simple poker tournament where a portion (or all!) of the winnings go to MEDLIFE.


7. Dine and Donate

Partner with a local restaurant to have a delicious fundraiser! Encourage your students and their friends to eat at your chosen restaurant and collect a portion of the profit. Eating good food for charity… where do we sign up!?


8. 5k/Fun Run

A little less creative student fundraiser idea but a tried and tested way to raise some money! Consider doing it as a Chapter for force in numbers and encourage more members to get involved! Use your MyMovement campaign page to receive donations from friends and family.


9. Krispy Kreme Sale

Krispy Kreme sell glazed donuts at a special price to be used in fundraisers! Pre-order your donuts, work out how much profit you want to make per donut, and get selling on campus! Students cramming for deadlines love donuts (especially if the proceeds go to charity!)


10. Pub Quiz

Get your students to come down to a local bar or diner for a night of trivia! Students pay to enter in teams and answer the rounds of questions you set - make sure you have a charismatic quiz master to keep teams engaged. Coordinate with the pub to see if they’ll offer the winning team a free round of drinks!


11. Late Night Food Stand/ Delivery

Post night-out food is a given, whichever continent you may be in, so set up a stand or offer delivery to students to satisfy those late-night cravings! Pizza, chips, and grilled cheese would all work well!


12. Spin-A-Thon

Get your sweat on in a spin-a-thon! Ask your University gym to donate some spin bikes for the day so that teams can take on a Tour-de-MEDLIFE. Doing it in a public place on campus will draw more attention and people can donate on their way to class!


13. Raffles

Ask local businesses to donate a prize for your raffle, charge $1/£1 for a ticket and winners will receive a prize. Make sure you vary the items so you have a range of small and larger prizes!


14. Charity Fashion Show

Raise some money, but make it fashion by hosting a charity fashion show at your university! Charge an entrance fee and enlist the help of different cultural student organizations that would be interested in showcasing traditional clothing, or introduce fun categories and really get the party started. Regardless of the type of fashion, this is both a great way to raise money and an opportunity to interact and recruit students from all over campus.


15. Late Night Shuttle Service

Fill your tank with gas (or petrol) and crank the tunes, it’s time to be the best designated driver your university has ever seen. Offer rides to and from parties/bars for your friends and charge them a fee for your generosity. For an extra fee maybe you can even stop at the drive-thru to satisfy those late-night cravings.



We hope this compilation of student fundraiser ideas is useful and helps you put the FUN in fundraising for 2020! As we strive towards our goal of raising $350,000 for Walls That Unify in Union Santa Fe, we need your help more than ever! Fundraising can be intimidating, but remember that you have an entire Movement of world-changers here to support you.

As always, please share your events with MEDLIFE (@medlifemovement) so we can brag about all the good stuff our Chapters/Societies are doing. Every fundraiser makes a difference no matter how big or small!

For more useful resources, check out our fundraising and donations page on Campus Labs. Good luck fundraising!!

This blog is part of a series showcasing chapters that won awards in this year's MEDLIFE Awards. Each week we will be talking to a chapter to hear about their keys to success. Find out how to start a MEDLIFE chapter at your school HERE.
The Ohio State University MEDLIFE chapter is committed to service and building relationships with other groups on campus and in the surrounding community. They hold monthly meetings which are not only educational but are hands-on and practical. They invite guests to speak to members about topics like suicide prevention or the heroin epidemic in Ohio, and have held countless educational seminars including CPR training, yoga classes, and pillow making workshops. These seminars allow their members to develop professionally and use these new skills to give back!
We recently reached out to MEDLIFE-OSU Chapter President, Elizabeth Adams, to learn about her chapter's success. 
16179228 1306203619439162 3978770277363816195 oIn January 2017, MEDLIFE OSU sent over 30 students on a Service Learning trip to Cusco, Peru.
How did you start to work with MEDLIFE? Why did you choose MEDLIFE?
I joined MEDLIFE the first week of my freshman year when I accidentally stumbled upon the MEDLIFE booth at our involvement fair! Joining our university's chapter was the best decision of my college career. After the first meeting, where I learned about MEDLIFE's mission and the ways we were able to help lower income families both locally and abroad, I was absolutely hooked. What really made me dedicate myself to MEDLIFE was their commitment to serving communities longterm by providing year-round followup care, education on preventative medicine, and sustainable development projects that allow a community to thrive from within, rather than rely on constant outside assistance. 
What new strategies have you used as President of your Chapter to gather support and inspire students to work with MEDLIFE?
I think that our Chapter has been able to gain the support of and to inspire students to work with MEDLIFE by sharing our individual stories. Whether it is at an involvement fair, through our chapter's social media, or even just in casual conversation before lecture, the first thing I, executive board, and general body members mention about MEDLIFE is their own, personal experience and why it means so much to them. I think our chapter has had great success in this because we also provide opportunities for members to get involved with local outreach to the Columbus community. Whether it's for a local food drive, a fundraiser that consists of petting puppies, learning about health disparities in the LGBTQ community of Columbus, or volunteering at an elementary school, we give our members something to talk about, even if it is done locally! Of course, mentioning that you got to climb Machu Picchu while assisting in serving thousands of patients abroad through triaging them, teaching children how to brush their teeth, and filling their prescriptions is also pretty cool 
14 12 2 The Ohio State chapter keeps meetings engaging! Here, they are making pillows and cards for Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.
In your opinion, what is your chapter’s greatest achievement?
I believe our chapter's greatest achievement is having the ability for our members to feel involved in whatever way they are able to and would like to. Many students feel financial constraints on being able to attend brigades, especially regularly, leaving bulks of time with a potentially foggy idea on what to do with MEDLIFE. Our chapter provides members with local opportunities for fundraising, volunteering, and learning. Additionally, we try our best to vary the times of day and day of the week when activities occur, in case of scheduling conflicts for a particular time/day. Further, sometimes schedules simply do not have room for a longterm involvement with the chapter and we understand that! It is totally ay-okay to simply go on a brigade through our chapter, and we work to ensure such members get the needed info for them to have a wonderful time on brigade! It's really all about making MEDLIFE whatever you want it to be, and our chapter works to spread this message! 
What did you do to get people engaged?
We do our best to switch up meeting topics/ideas/styles to keep everything fresh! For example, we may have a meeting based on educating ourselves about a particular health disparity in our community led by a guest speaker. Then the following meeting may be a little more hands-on, such as making stress balls for children in a local orphanage. We also keep communication open between executive board and our general body members through surveys! This ensures that we are providing the content and the opportunities that our members are looking for MEDLIFE to provide them.
14 12 3Members at a Kaplan Suture Clinic.
What is your most memorable experience working with MEDLIFE?
My most memorable experience working with MEDLIFE has to be my trip to Lima, Peru in January of 2016. One particular  memory is from our last day working in the community, during the reveal of our completed staircase development project. I had been playing with a little girl, about 6 years old, then it was time to go. As we packed up, I noticed that the girl's father was kneeling down so she could speak into his ear. He listened intently, as if he was trying to learn. He and his daughter went back and forth a couple of times, repeating the same thing back and forth. He then approached me, extended his hand, smiled, and said, "Thank you." The language of love knows no barriers. 
What plans do you have for the future of your chapter?
One of our chapter's goals is to independently raise the funds for a development project! We also plan to continue to expand our local volunteer opportunities focusing on medicine, education, and development. 
Do you have any advice for other chapters?
Always remember why you joined MEDLIFE. Remember the fire that started within you to inspire you to be involved with leadership within your chapter, and always work towards spreading that feeling to others. Specifically, keep communication open within the chapter and remember it starts with you! Always ask questions, collaborate with other chapters, and reach out to national! 
Remember,"Individually we are one drop, but together we are an ocean."-Ryunosuke Satoro
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This blog is part of a series showcasing chapters that won awards in this years MEDLIFE Awards. Each week we will be talking to a chapter to hear about their keys to success. Find out how to start a MEDLIFE chapter at your school HERE.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley started their chapter in 2017. From the beginning, they were on the track to success. The very first chapter meeting had 105 people in attendance with about 60 students continuing to attend on a regular basis. They actively volunteer with a local food bank, as well as working with the Salvation Army and an organization called Infinite Love, which focuses on giving support to Oncology patients. 
One of their chapter highlights includes hosting a MED Conference through which they raised money for MEDLIFE National projects. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley MEDLIFE chapter's vigor and drive to grow, to educate and advocate, is what has created their success story for their first year!
We caught up with Chapter President,Tanvi Gupta, to learn more about the success of this brand new chapter! 
14 12 0540Members of MEDLIFE Texas RGV on a Service Learning Trip to Cusco, Peru.
How did you start to work with MEDLIFE? Why did you choose MEDLIFE?
In March of 2016, I traveled to Lima, Peru with MEDLIFE to attend my first volunteer trip. I witnessed the poor living conditions and lack of access to healthcare there, which helped me realize the need for better healthcare globally. Back home, I knew many students also wanted to make a difference on both a local and international level. As a result, I started the MEDLIFE Chapter at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. I truly believe in MEDLIFE’s mission of bringing medicine to impoverished communities, educating people, and constructing developmental projects based on what the communities need. I also really appreciate the dedication and passion that everyone at MEDLIFE displays; it made the process of building a new chapter less difficult. 
What new strategies have you used as President of your Chapter to gather support and inspire students to work with MEDLIFE?
Before our first general meeting, I reached out to the Presidents of other healthcare-related organizations on campus to help promote our Chapter and spread the word about MEDLIFE. Presenting to other organizations and at campus events allowed us to have 105 members show up to our first meeting! 
During our general meetings, we incorporated a “Global Health Trivia” segment to educate members on medical issues, fostering important discussions. We also implemented a “Medical Spanish Phrases of the Day” segment where we have one member teach and explain two phrases commonly used on the volunteer trips.
I also established a points system to engage and motivate members. They would receive points for volunteering, fundraising, attending meetings, and wearing their MEDLIFE shirt to events. During each meeting, we included a PowerPoint slide with a list of our top 20 members and their updated points. At the end of the year, we created a “MEDLIFE Scholarship” to award our highest point earners and help them pay for their trip to Peru.
In your opinion, what is your chapter’s greatest achievement?
This past semester, we planned a volunteer trip and sent 19 members to Cusco, Peru! I am extremely proud of my Executive Board for accomplishing this task in our first year. We also partnered with several organizations on campus to host a Health Professions Conference, bringing in medical school students, nurses, social workers, surgeons, and physicians. 
14 12 0544The Texas MEDLIFErs show off some serious fundraising skills!
What is your most memorable experience working with MEDLIFE?

This year, I reached out to a local organization called Infinite Love. We collaborated to provide meals to low-income families and the homeless every Friday. This has been one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences for our members and officers this past year.
Personally, my most memorable experience with MEDLIFE was the volunteer trip to Lima. The people there lacked access to basic necessities that we, in the United States, take for granted. Knowing I could make a difference in their lives and improve their conditions even slightly solidified my decision to pursue medicine. I am forever grateful to MEDLIFE for the opportunity to volunteer abroad. The trip was an incredible, eye-opening experience!
What plans do you have for the future of your chapter?
Next year, I really hope to bring medical professionals to our general meetings to discuss important topics such as diabetes or disease prevention. I also want to organize bigger volunteer events for our members with local schools and organizations.
Do you have any advice for other chapters?
I think the main thing to always keep in mind is your members. Make meetings fun and interactive. Ask members what they think about the meetings and events because feedback from members is crucial to improving the Chapter. Also, stay in touch with your MEDLIFE Team Leader and keep them updated. The monthly phone calls with Brittany Cook, our Team Leader, played a huge role in our success this year!
14 12 0541The 2017 MEDLIFE Texas Rio Grande Valley Executive Board.
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