Joe and I were fortunate enough to spend a few days at the University of Georgia during our $1 tour. We arrived Thursday evening and met with the UGA MEDLIFE Chapter Officers — Emily, Kelsey, Silki, Carolyn, Danny, Garrett, Katie, Meredith, Savannah, Amanda, and Poorvi. An hour later, we were delivering our presentation to a group of nearly 60 students, our biggest crowd of the tour!
After the presentation, the UGA officers invited us out for frozen yogurt, and we discussed their efforts on campus. Joe and I were blown away by the commitment and organization of these MEDLIFE student leaders, each of whom is going the extra mile to help MEDLIFE bring aid to poor communities.
Katie, the fundraising chair, had planned a scarf sale for Saturday at a local farmers’ market (like many MEDLIFE chapters, UGA sells Ecuadorian scarves brought back from a recent Mobile Clinic). Six students showed up to the market at 7am on Saturday morning to help raise money for the MEDLIFE Fund. While most college students were sleeping off last night’s debauchery (remember that UGA was ranked as the #1 party school in the nation a few years ago), these UGA MEDLIFE-ers raised nearly $500!
Other MEDLIFE members were leading an initiative to help improve the facilities at a local school that provides instruction to poor families in the Athens, GA area. MEDLIFE doesn’t require that student chapters engage in local community service work; these students had gotten involved simply because they saw another way that they could use MEDLIFE to bring help to those in need.
Joe and I stuck around until Sunday so that we could participate in a team meeting with all the chapter officers, and we were once again impressed by what we witnessed. Chapter Presidents Emily and Kelsey do an excellent job managing their team, and every contributor was prepared to speak about their goals for the semester. UGA is planning to send a Mobile Clinic to Lima over winter break, has multiple fundraisers in the works, and is actively applying to receive grants and additional funding from their school’s administration. They were even able to secure their own MEDLIFE office space in the Student Activities Center.
We were sad to leave Athens the following morning, as we wanted to stick around to see what these MEDLIFE-ers could accomplish, but we had a full schedule of presentations (from Atlanta to Miami) planned for the upcoming week.
Thank you to all the UGA MEDLIFE Chapter Officers for your work this year, and a special thanks to Danny for giving Joe and I a home (and tour guide) for our stay in Athens!
Remember that you can donate to our $1 tour through our campaign page!