Rather than taking a day off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Adventist University of Health Sciences students had a ‘day on.’ Forty-five students, family members, staff, and community members volunteered to serve at two organizations.
The first group went to the Mustard Seed of Central Florida, a non-profit that provides food, furniture, and clothing to the economically distressed of Central Florida. The volunteers sorted clothes, organized the warehouse, and cleaned outside the facility.
“The most memorable part was seeing the reaction of the staff when we finished cleaning and organizing,” said Khadeeja Sweeney, second-year biomedical sciences student, who decided volunteering was the best way to celebrate her birthday weekend.
While the first group worked behind-the-scenes at the Mustard Seed, the second group visited patients at the Orlando Health and Rehabilitation Center, a facility that provides care to long-term patients of all ages. Sasha Valente, first-year nursing student, felt a bond with one dementia patient in particular.
“I painted a woman’s nails and as I spoke to her she held my hand like I was her own daughter,” Sasha said. “I could tell that my visit with her really meant a lot.”
One thing both groups had in common was realizing how much need there is in local communities.
“There are things I take for granted that thousands of people are really grateful for,” said Stephanie Accimeus, first-year biomedical sciences student. “It was a great experience, I was lucky to be part of something so meaningful.”
-by Sarah Crowder