Last Saturday morning, 60 Paul L. Foster School of Medicine students from the Gold Humanism Honor Society and Student Government Association fanned out across multiple sites in the El Paso community to give back during their Corazon de Oro (Heart of Gold) Service Day.
This was the first year they decided to get as many students as possible focused on giving back to the community in one day.
At the Humane Society, while some students washed animals and took them out of their cages to show them love, others made dog toys out of old T-shirts as well as stuffed Swag bags for an upcoming fundraiser.
Students volunteering at the Salvation Army cleaned out and organized food pantry shelves. At the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence (CASFV) shelter, students pulled weeds, raked leaves, cleaned up the playground and even fixed a couple of benches thanks to a few woodworking savvy students.
“The CASFV is a wonderful and much needed resource in our community,” said third-year student Susan Lampley. “They serve hundreds of clients every month, and like most such organizations they depend greatly on volunteer service. We had a blast with the landscaping makeover at their emergency shelter. It may not sound glamorous but
such projects are necessary and every student there made the event fun, worthwhile, and overall showed their dedication to community and their appreciation for all the work the CASFV does,” she said.
A Habitat for Humanity home on the east side benefitted from a complete new coat of paint inside for a deserving family, and students volunteering at the El Paso Zoo helped direct and guide people towards the different programs that day. “Many of the people attending the zoo that day said they wouldn’t have known where to go if we hadn’t been there to show them which exhibits were next on the list to present,” said Jeff Mohlman. “It was nice to give back to the El Paso community by making zoo visits a little more memorable for some of our fellow El Pasoans. This is a great city and it was a great chance to give back,” he said.
Senior medical student Rahul Chhana said “I hope this event becomes a tradition that our school will continue to do long after I am gone. The best part for me was seeing all the smiles from those that volunteered, even after having to wake up early enough to start volunteering at 8 a.m. on a Saturday!”