University of Michigan Students Fundraise With A 5K Run

403424 4089192863566 15612968 nThis weekend, University of Michigan students ran a 5K race through a park in Ann Arbor, raising around $450 for the MEDLIFE Project Fund. Although the MEDLIFE chapter at the University of Michigan is relatively new, student leaders organized their large-scale event by partnering with a 400-person community service fraternity on campus called Alpha Phi Omega (APO). Along with the 5k run, they offered two other events that any registered 5k participant could attend: a tie dye event for tie dying the race shirts and a pasta party the night before the race. 

The chapter’s president, Melanie Askari, attributes the event’s success to the chapter’s cooperation with other on-campus and local organizations. “The Michigan MEDLIFE chapter has been trying to create partnerships with as many other student organizations on campus as possible,” she says. “When we were planning the 5K with APO, we realized that the date we picked happened to be at the beginning of National Service Week. Just by luck, the theme of National Service Week this year is disease prevention, so MEDLIFE seemed like the perfect non-profit to receive the race money. It was a great opportunity to raise awareness amongst other organizations on campus.”
559443 4089180983269 834074896 nBy partnering with APO, Melanie and her group received $80 from the fraternity’s funds, which they used to cover the cost of tie dye, signage, advertising and other event expenses. The partnership also expanded their pool of both runners and volunteers. To keep costs low, volunteers were used to direct runners along the correct route and keep track of times as participants crossed the finish line. In addition, MEDLIFE staff members contributed by donating food to the event, spreading the word on campus, and advertising via flyers and Facebook in the weeks leading up to the race. The MEDLIFErs also created a poster explaining the MEDLIFE mission to display at the 5k event.

The University of Michigan group also reached out to the community to solicit prizes from local businesses for the top placers in the race. The chapter has also secured a partnership with Kaplan, which they will use for a future fundraiser. “Aside from the material benefits we receive from local companies,” says Melanie, “we are also raising awareness throughout Ann Arbor.”

When asked what advice Melanie would give to other MEDLIFE chapters, she reiterates the importance of creating partnerships across a broad array of groups and individuals. “We are all shooting toward similar end goals of providing service, so working together is really the best way to raise the most awareness about the cause and the greatest amount of money. We are trying to bring in as many students from various majors and interests, such as economics, history, international studies, and pre-health, to our chapter. Students tend to join for the same reasons: to provide service and raise awareness. Regardless of our undergraduate majors, professions or interests, at one point or another in our lives we will all need access to quality health care, and that makes MEDLIFE’s mission relevant to any college student.”



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.