Med Students Grab Opportunity to Help Homeless and Strays

IMG_0471Several Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) students have decided to help not just residents of a local homeless center, but four-legged friends at an animal shelter.

When Bernadette Tan toured the El Paso Opportunity Center for the Homeless, the second-year medical student noticed that one room was designated as a shop and filled with donated items such as books, clothing, blankets, and small appliances. She was told that each week Opportunity Center residents are given access to the shop and choose one item of their liking at no cost to them.

Tan was inspired to hold a clothing drive on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso campus to benefit the Opportunity Center. She and fellow student Sumana Reddy are coordinating the drive and have placed large bins in the Medical Education Building (MEB) Student Lounge and the Student Services Office for people to drop off items such as blankets, men’s, women’s and children’s clothes, paperback books, and other household items.

Brandy Mills, Ciara Wisecup, and Stacy Nguy started their dog food drive because strays without homes or families, are close to their hearts. Mills said they were both aware of the great need for help from overflowing animal rescue shelters.

IMG_0473“In El Paso alone, over 26,000 animals per year are euthanized,” said Mills. “In comparison, New York City euthanized 6,124 animals in 2013.”

The group of medical students decided to hold an animal food drive for Huckleberry Hound Rescue of El Paso, which they said goes through about 200 pounds of dog food a week. “Supporting local grassroots shelters such as the Huckleberry Hound Rescue of El Paso helps to keep these stray animals out of the streets and put in the loving homes they deserve,” said Mills.

The students are hopeful employees and other students on campus can give back to the community through these drives. The drives end November 20.

For more information, contact the PLFSOM Office of Student Services at 915-215-4361.