Many members of the School of Health Professions made service and service-learning a priority at the end of 2020.

The SHP Staff Council hosted an SHP-wide holiday drive that collected more than 500 items including disposable masks, socks, soap, shampoo, toothpaste/brush, deodorant, winter gear, and blankets for two non-profit organizations in Birmingham. The council’s efforts delivered five boxes to the Firehouse Ministries Shelter who serve the chronically homeless male population, and seven boxes to First Light, which is a center for homeless women and children.

Kristin Chapleau, MaE, program manager and instructor, B.S. in Biomedical Sciences (BMD) program, teaches two classes of HRP 101: Experiencing the University Transition for Health Professions to freshmen each fall. The course, which includes service-learning and Team Based Learning components, assigns a community partner to the teams who assess their needs and develop a project to meet those needs. Even though this semester looked different than years’ past, the results still saw 14 teams support 11 community partners.

“This is where students begin to understand the implications that working with community partners has on preparation for citizenship, work and life,” said Chapleau. “Also, our teams would not have been near as successful without the support of our Service-learning Fellowship student Elizabeth Crosby – she is amazing and worked with each team to help them with everything from proper etiquette when speaking with a community partner to how to navigate team dynamics.”

A Friend of Mine

A Friend of Mine

BMD teams completed Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) training for suicide prevention with the founder of A Friend of Mine, Sherilyn Garner, Ph.D. They held virtual community conversations where they discussed openly mental health and resources. Following that, both teams met with Garner to discuss results and next steps. A Friend of Mine is dedicated to creating culturally tailored programs and eliminating mental health disparities among adolescents and their families living in under-served communities.

Blazer Kitchen

blazerkitchen

Blazer Kitchen

The “Monday” team fundraised via social media and raised $540, which covered the cost of the watering system for the new community garden. The “Wednesday” team raised over $400 to purchase personal hygiene products. The teams implemented a number of tactics to raise funds including social media challenges, sharing stories of student needs at UAB, and volunteering in the community garden and Blazer Kitchen. The Blazer Kitchen mission is to increase food security in the UAB community.

Blazers Against Hunger

Blazers Against Hunger 

This team researched hunger on college campuses across the country as well as at UAB. They created a PowerPoint presentation and a video that was used during UAB Giving Day in the Blazers Against Hunger campaign. For the day, the Blazers Against Hunger campaign saw more than 600 donors contribute $52,118.

Childrens Harbor

Children’s Harbor

These students raised over $250 through social media and received in-kind donations of coloring books. In the end, they provided Children’s Harbor with 70 coloring books, 12 crayon boxes, and a $200 donation to be used as the organization needs. Children’s Harbor provides children with serious illnesses and their families a place to have fun and relax at no cost. They have a Lake Martin campus and the Birmingham Family Center at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham.

Church of the Reconciler

Church of the Reconciler Homeless Ministry

The “Monday” team researched health issues that the homeless and low-income population face, specifically oral hygiene, and created posters and a video with health tips and facts to be used in area’s frequented by the homeless population. The “Wednesday” team researched the top causes of homelessness and ways that can effectively break the cycle of homelessness. They used negative and positive feedback loops to explain their research in a PowerPoint and a video. Church of the Reconciler is a multicultural, multiracial United Methodist congregation in downtown Birmingham.

First Light

First Light

After meeting with First Light representatives, this team realized they had a need for snacks and breakfast items for the children to have before and after school. The team partnered with the 4th grade at Bluff Park Elementary and collected hundreds of breakfast items. They created videos to share with the students, sent letters home to parents, and provided candy for the winning class. First Light is a Center for Homeless Women and Children that offers the only emergency shelter accepting homeless women and families 24 hours a day in Birmingham.

Magic Moments

Magic Moments

This team fundraised by hosting a virtual “Water Balloon Your Favorite BMD Faculty” event to help offset the cost for Jaxson to go to Disney World. They also planned the reveal of Jaxson’s Magic Moment, surprising Jaxson with a parade, UAB cheerleaders and Blaze. Team members dressed as Mickey and Minnie Mouse and gave Jaxson a goody basket filled with toys and a Bill Clark signed UAB football and jersey which they acquired through donations from the UAB Bookstore. Magic Moments is the only wish granting organization devoted exclusively to creating magic moments in the lives of children in Alabama with chronically life-threatening medical conditions.

Meals OnCol

Meals OnCol

After conducting research on foods that best eliminate certain symptoms, this team helped develop multiple recipes to add to Meals OnCol’s menu. The meals were tested on patients and many were added to the permanent menu. Some of the team members also helped deliver meals. Meals OnCol is a meal delivery service for people in Birmingham who are going through cancer – all meals are tailored to alleviate the side effects from treatment.

Oak Knoll

Oak Knoll Health and Rehabilitation

Oak Knoll students

As one can imagine, the long-term residents of Oak Knoll have been rather lonely since the pandemic began and family and friends were no longer able to visit. This team raised over $250 through social media and received in-kind donations to make Thanksgiving bags – containing beanies, socks, healthy snacks, candy, cross word puzzles, and handwritten cards – for the 100 residents and candy bags for the 75 employees. Oak Knoll Health and Rehabilitation is an alternative to the traditional long-term care and rehabilitation facility.

Shades Cahaba

Shades Cahaba Elementary

This team held multiple virtual character events for elementary students struggling with social interaction and lack of events during the pandemic. The team dressed up as Dr. Seuss characters and read aloud multiple stories to the classes through Zoom. They then met with the students virtually to recap, mentor and get to know them better. The team also dropped off Dr. Suess themed thank you cards for each student. Shades Cahaba Elementary School is located in Homewood.

Benevolent Fund

UAB Benevolent Fund

Oasis Counseling students

In an effort to support the March of Dimes, United Ability and Oasis Counseling, this team created a PSA-style video to be used by the UAB Benevolent Fund to highlight these three organizations. They also created and donated murals for each of these organizations. Since 1984, the UAB Benevolent Fund has worked to meet the needs of UAB employees and our community by offering a unique blend of employee charitable giving opportunities.