Student Osteopathic Medical Association Provides Supply Donation

The Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) chapter at the NSU Tampa Bay Regional Campus exceeded expectations with its school supply drive for the Chi Chi Rodriguez Foundation.

SOMA’s original goal was to establish a mentorship program with the foundation, which is a youth organization aimed at providing students a unique environment to develop teamwork, community building, and leadership skills. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, SOMA had to find different ways to engage with the program. SOMA reached out to the foundation and found it needed various supplies such as sanitizers, cleaning supplies, and masks. This is when SOMA decided to hold a school supply drive for the students.

SOMA had volunteers donate items, while making sure they were all sanitized before being donated. To ensure social distancing requirements were being followed, SOMA held the drive in the outdoor courtyard area of the campus and had three to four people sign up for each shift. Each volunteer had his or her own table where people could drop off materials.

The drive was a success, as more than $1,000 was raised, along with various donations as requested by the foundation. SOMA hopes to continue working with the foundation and eventually coordinate a mentorship program once in-person activities resume. SOMA members are already participating in the foundation’s career day activities, which involves having a few students discuss their journey to medical school and answer any question the youth may have about the process of becoming a physician.

“We were super excited to have raised this much and very happy with the level of participation from our class,” said second-year student Madhuri Prayaga, SOMA president. “Even during such difficult times, they came together to help raise money for an important and meaningful cause. We are incredibly grateful to our class for helping so much.”