Those of us working in admissions are not public health professionals.
We’re data administrators, communicators, project managers, recruiters, event planners and much more. Not one of us has an MPH.
But it’s hard to work here among all the dedicated public health folk and not want to contribute. Each of us participates in our own projects and a few University-wide initiatives, but a few years ago we instituted an office event: the Admissions Day of Service.
Each year, we close the office for a day and volunteer our services to a local organization.
We helped rebuild a neighborhood playground destroyed by arson. We served a meal to the hungry at a center that has done so without interruption for 32 years. We pulled weeds at an urban farm where fresh vegetables are grown to combat inner city food deserts. We pulled trash choking an otherwise beautiful city stream.
Yesterday, we volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House.
Among other things, the Ronald McDonald House provides families with a place to stay - “a home away from home” - while their seriously ill or injured children receive treatment at local hospitals.
A few of us organized and disinfected a playroom.
Others sorted through children’s craft supplies.
Still others sorted through bins and bins of metal tabs for recycling.
The proceeds from the tabs are used to pay for shuttles transporting families to and from the hospital.
Each of these volunteer experiences has touched us in some way. They make us pause and think. They help us understand why our students and faculty are so passionate about public health. And there’s always something we personally take home.
In this case, it was the desire to collect tabs.
Our office will be collecting pull tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. Next time you splurge on a soda in the Wolfe Street building, bring us your tab!