Volunteers sought to help with "Spirit of Thanksgiving" Dinner On November 23rd
Students from the University of Maryland School of Medicine will prepare and serve a Thanksgiving dinner and distribute donated clothing to needy families in West Baltimore on November 23rd. The dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Booker T. Washington Middle School, 1301 McCulloh Street in West Baltimore.
"More than 100 students are involved in organizing and staffing the Thanksgiving dinner and clothing drive, and nearly 400 dinners will be served," says Bridget Hilliard, a second-year medical student and co-coordinator of the event. "I enjoy donating my time because it is a great way to give back to the community and learn about the issues the community is faced with on a daily basis."
Because the Thanksgiving dinner is such a large event, the students are seeking volunteers to help them. Volunteers are needed for two-hour shifts, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 23. "Community service has always been an important part of the medical education students receive at the University of Maryland School of Medicine," says Jack Gladstein, MD, associate dean of Student Affairs. "In order for these future doctors to understand the patients they serve, they need to reach out and help their community."
University of Maryland School of Medicine students are involved in other community activities throughout the year. For example, they host a community health fair every spring that includes health screenings, an exercise class and other activities to promote wellness. Medical students also visit local schools through the "Tar Wars" program, to encourage kids not to smoke.
Students are also involved in the community through various outreach programs. STOP AIDS is a program that teaches middle school students about empowerment and choices. The Student National Medical Association, a student organization comprised of African-American medical students, is involved in the community through a pregnancy outreach program. Medical students involved in this effort discuss pregnancy with high school students in an attempt to prevent future pregnancies. Students also volunteer their time at a clinic that offers free medical care to the homeless of Baltimore.
People who want to contribute time or clothing or make a financial donation to the "Spirit of Thanksgiving" event should contact Bridget Hilliard (email@example.com) at 410-415-7117 or Jen Simpson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 410-944-3088. There are drop-off locations for clothing donations in the lobby of the Bressler Research Building at 655 West Baltimore Street, and the lobby of the Health Sciences Facility building at 685 West Baltimore Street. Drop boxes are located at the security guard desks of these buildings.
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