By: Adebola Adegbite MD5
The Student Ambassador Organization (SAO) of the Xavier University School of Medicine advocates school spirit and community outreach efforts through fundraising events and volunteer work. SAO decided to give back to the community of Aruba through a fundraising event called “The Act of Kindness Walk.” Students and local residents walked for five kilometers on Saturday, November 19, 2016, starting at 5 pm at the Fisherman Huts. The cost of the event was 15 florins which included a t-shirt and the eligibility to be included in a raffle. It was a sunny and breezy day and everyone was glad the weather was favorable. Participants checked in at around 4pm. The event began with welcoming and showing gratitude to, as well as showing recognition to, all sponsors for their contribution to the event. Before the walk, Zumba was scheduled. Everyone danced and was excited for the choreography and music. It was a way to get everyone to warm up before the walk started. IBiSA (Instituto Biba Saludabel y Activo), an Aruban government organization that encourages healthy living, helped to coordinate the walk. After the 5K walk, there were several raffle prizes and plenty of pictures were taken. Fruits, water and juice were provided. Proceeds from the event went to Fundacion Ban Papia (also known as Fundacion Sea Bunita Sea Bo Mes), and Fundacion C.R.A.F.T. The first is a foundation supporting those affected by Down Syndrome and the latter is a foundation which provides free art classes to school children in San Nicolas. In addition, some of the proceeds went to sponsoring ten children for the Red Cross Aruba FACT Camp 2017. The event ended around 6.45pm. The SAO team showed their gratitude to all the participants and wished them a safe journey home. As prospective physicians studying at Xavier University, we are taught the importance of saving lives and being leaders in the community, as well as recognizing areas of need and creating avenues for improvement. Our goal at SAO is to contribute to the lives of children through collaborative efforts of Fundacion Ban Papia (also known as Fundacion Sea Bunita Sea Bo Mes), and Fundacion C.R.A.F.T. SAO would like to thank XUSOM, our university, Walden University, and our sponsors for their support throughout the preparation for and participation in this event.