Ahh, spring break. Perhaps the most anticipated time of the year for college students.
Sandy beaches, parties and a never-ending flow of adult beverages. Oh, the memories. Oh, the hangovers.
But a week of partying isn’t everyone’s choice.
Carly Young and other students in the physician assistant program at Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tennessee will spend their spring break in April providing health care and supplies to the poor in Peru and Honduras.
“We will be treating patients of all ages,” Young said recently. “We set up our clinic inside of a church and then treat anyone who can make it there throughout the week.”
Young, a first-time mission trip member, weeks ago asked Totally Promotional for a discount on can coolers to sell at fundraisers to pay for medical supplies and other items for the trips. What a totally cool idea! We gladly obliged.
Although the students in the PA program have completed mission trips to Peru in the past, this is the first year they will simultaneously be going to Honduras, Young said.
The goal each year isn’t just about bringing medicine to the people, she explained.
“We often see things such as infections. However, after treating the underlying disease, we also give them toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, etc., for them and their family,” Young said.
Coloring books, toys and learning opportunities are provided to area kids; a church service ends each day.
Accompanying the students in each group this year are at least one college professor and a doctor.
Young, who eventually plans to work in the field of oncology, said she wants to go because “I know that it will be something that will be unlike any other experience in PA school.”
“I will learn so much more in that one week about medicine than I can sitting in class or doing practical check-offs,” Young said. “We’re going to learn how to help and be there for people who truly need it more than most.”
She’s sure the groups will return with a greater understanding of how lucky Americans are to have the privileges we often take for granted. It’s a lesson we all could learn.
The trips are scheduled for April 1-8. The students continue to sell the can coolers on campus and at a local coffee shop. Sales are going well, Young said.
“The koozies turned out beautiful,” Young said.
I love the design the students chose for their colorful can coolers and the fitting words they selected from well-known scientist Albert Einstein, who promoted freedom and human rights around the world: “Only a life lived for others is the life worthwhile.”
What a great way to spend a spring break! I certainly applaud the students’ efforts and wish them much success!
Totally Promotional products, such as custom table covers and banner stands, lanyards, bags and lip balm, often are purchased by organizations and businesses for fundraisers and charitable events. For further information, please contact our Customer Service Department.
— Shelley Grieshop