How To Start A MEDLIFE Chapter

By founding a MEDLIFE Chapter, you and your peers can make a positive global impact and help us grow our movement. MEDLIFE Chapters are dynamic student groups that offer students a rewarding opportunity to volunteer with an international nonprofit, build leadership skills, and most importantly, empower low-income communities through medicine, education, and development.

As a MEDLIFE Chapter member, you can organize Service Learning Trips and recruit people from your school to join the Chapter or volunteer for an SLT. Being a MEDLIFE Chapter member is an excellent way to get involved with medical assistance services for pre-med students who are looking to diversify their resumes. 

How To Get Your Chapter Started

One of the first steps you can take to get started is to set a call/meeting with a MEDLIFE Advisor who will guide you through the process of your Chapter creation. After that, you can get started on recruiting people from your school to join your Chapter. You can even ask some faculty members to help you get started and access the resources you need to spread the word. Things like flyers and posters are excellent ways to advertise. They don’t have to be fancy, all you need to do is be clear about what MEDLIFE’s mission is and how someone can get involved. Setting up a time and place to meet for anyone who is interested is a good idea. 

You can also utilize social media to get the word out. Set up a Facebook or Discord group for your Chapter and create an event with the details of your first meeting where people can let you know if they are interested. Instagram is a great tool as well. You can start an account strictly for your Chapter and start posting photos and reels of what it is you do and the benefits of joining your Chapter.

Next, you need to plan your first General Body Meeting. The very first gathering can be a general overview of what MEDLIFE is and what our Service Learning Trips look like. Our website is full of resources you can use to show what we have achieved in the past. Visual aids are excellent for showing a group of people what you are aiming for. We have photos and videos available for anyone starting a MEDLIFE Chapter. 

While everyone is gathered, it is a good idea to get their contact information as well as establish when the next meeting will be. You can’t expect everyone who attended your first meeting to return, but that is quite customary since the first meeting generally consists of the pitch for joining your Chapter.

Once you have a solid group of people who are interested in joining, that’s when you can start planning your next steps. Fundraising is always a great place to start. Many Chapters fundraise for Moving Mountains. Moving Mountains began in 2020 as an urgent response to the hunger crisis faced by our partner communities when COVID-19 arrived. At that time, months of strict lockdown had resulted in unemployment and financial difficulties for many. Over the last few years, Moving Mountains has evolved into an annual fundraising campaign. Donations support community initiatives that go above and beyond the Development Projects completed during Service Learning Trips. Your Chapter can also fundraise for local activities as well as any SLTs you may be planning.

You and your Chapter members can discuss ways to fundraise. Things like bake sales, bottle drives, dances, pancake breakfasts, and raffles are excellent ways to get others involved, spread the word about MEDLIFE, and raise money for a good cause.

While it can be super fun to start your own MEDLIFE Chapter, it can also be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have much help at first. Luckily, we are here to help with everything and anything you might need. If you are thinking of starting a MEDLIFE Chapter at your school, go ahead and book a call with us where we will answer any questions you may have. We look forward to meeting you! 


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.