Earlier this week, members of Internal Medicine’s newly formed Community Engagement and Services (CES) committee delivered nearly 850 school supplies to the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD). Donated over the course of just a few weeks, faculty and staff from every single division bought pens, backpacks, crayons, lunch boxes, paper, markers, notebooks, calculators, folders, erasers, and so much more. These new supplies will provide hundreds of Iowa City students returning to school next week with the equipment to help them succeed and reduce the financial strain on both their parents and the district. “Everything,” said one CES member Kathleen Detert, “will be used and appreciated!”
What made this year’s drive especially critical is that a non-profit that had previously provided support to ICCSD had recently dissolved. This left the district scrambling to find additional resources to provide supplies for many of its less privileged students. The timing was fortunate for the CES, though, as the newly formed group was looking for its first organized philanthropic project. Once it had been decided, members of the committee fanned out across Internal Medicine, spreading the word within their divisions, designing donation boxes for each division, and keeping an accurate count of what was received each day.
“The timing was perfect,” CES member Rethy Krishnamurthy said. “As parents in the department were shopping for their own kids, they just grabbed an extra item or two and brought it into work.” Ms. Krishnamurthy says that the committee has already settled on their next project, but are working out the logistics to make sure that it runs as successfully as this one. “It was great to come in every day and see the pile of stuff keep growing! It’s amazing what this department accomplished so quickly.”