Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrates the civil rights leader’s life and legacy by encouraging Americans to volunteer their time to improve their communities. Students from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences heeded the call and organized several community-service events throughout El Paso County over the holiday weekend.
TTUHSC El Paso encourages a philosophy of service education, a form of teaching that encourages meaningful community service. The TTUHSC El Paso medical student group Community, Action, Research and Engaged Service (CARES) found ways to practice their health care skills while addressing some of the community’s needs.
More than 130 student volunteers participated in activities at five locations over two days:
Saturday, Jan. 18:
Montana Vista: East Montana Middle School Baseball Field
Activities included baseball and games for children, along with a health fair for families. Chico the Chihuahua, the El Paso Chihuahuas baseball team’s mascot, made an appearance. The medical students partnered with a variety of community organizations to provide attendees with free hepatitis C screenings and family health guidance.
Sunland Park: Ardovino’s Desert Crossing
The Health and Wellness Student Success Fair featured activities to benefit young students in many ways, from book giveaways and readings from community librarians, to a new physical health component. Participants took part in physical activity challenges and group games with hourly prizes.
Monday, Jan. 20:
Downtown El Paso: Columban Mission Center
Students and faculty hosted a resource fair for homeless persons in Downtown El Paso. They partnered with Centro San Vicente, Emergence Health Network, H.O.P.E. clinic, La Semilla Food Center, the Salvation Army, the UTEP Department of Social Work, the TTUHSC El Paso Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine, Opportunity Center for the Homeless and Veterans Transitional Living Center, and the Columban Mission Center. The fair offered free physical, mental and dental screenings, and information on how to access local health care resources.
San Elizario: Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe
Students hosted a Health Resource Fair designed to help connect San Elizario residents with health, education and safety resources in their community. The fair also promoted healthy eating and diet choices by providing a free cooking demonstration by a professional chef and free food for attendees.
Northeast El Paso: El Paso Veterans One-Stop Center
The Community Resource Fair for veterans offered health education, veteran resources, health screening, free items and more. TTUHSC El Paso collaborated with the Military Veteran Peer Network, Veterans Non Profit and Emergence Health Network for the event, which was aimed at helping veterans, their caregivers and their families. TTUHSC El Paso provided health information and screenings.
Check out our photo gallery from the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event: