Community service by Medical Partnership students keep Halloween fun for all

Looking forward to Thanksgiving, we are grateful to have so many students interested in consistently giving back to the community. Medical Partnership students volunteer their time in numerous fashions, including working with Mercy Clinic, running mobile sports clinics at local public schools, forming community health projects, and giving health screenings at the West Broad Farmer’s Market and the Salvation Army. In addition to the routine events and projects, the students recently planned two Halloween community events that allowed them to directly interact with the community outside of a clinical setting.

Healthy Halloween was hosted by the Class of 2020 on October 25, in association with the Boys & Girls Club of Athens. This annual event was organized into several stations with medical students guiding each activity. The participants were able to decorate pumpkins, wrap mummies, play active outdoor games, and blindly feel spooky surprises in the creepy crawlers’ room. Naser Ibrahim, M2 community service chair, was behind organizing this year’s event, and he stated that, “holiday activities may be commonplace to many, but some children in the area have situations in their lives where they can’t enjoy a fun, safe holiday season.” Of course for Ibrahim and many of the students, “One of the best parts of our Healthy Halloween event with the Boys and Girls Club was scaring them in our Creepy Room!”

On Monday, October 30, the Class of 2021 initiated a new Halloween event – the Medical Partnership Trunk-or-Treat. Recognizing that there are youth within the Athens community living in unsafe neighborhoods, M1 Community Service Chair Kelsey Barber recruited classmates to decorate their trunks in the visitor parking lot for children from local elementary schools to visit. According to Barber, one of the best aspects of this new event “is the fact that it allowed [the students] to interact with the people of Athens outside of a hospital setting. Not only was this fun, but it helps us better appreciate the Athens community as a whole.” She also stated, “With school, and just the generally fast pace of life, sometimes it’s nice to be able to stop for a second and remember why we are all here.”

According to Ibrahim, “Our Halloween events were such a success because of the generosity of our classmates. We had so many volunteers take time out of their busy study schedules and go the extra mile to dress up in costumes, decorate, and make a unique experience for the kids.”

Thanks to the students, both of the events were a definitive success, but with the next holiday season fast approaching, the community service chairs are already focusing on future service goals.

“As for the rest of this school year,” says Barber, “My goal is to continue to remind students of the larger Athens community. We have canned food & toy drives upcoming in the next few months and we hope to continue to give back to such a loving and supportive community throughout the year.”

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