Students often take their legs for granted when they complain about walking to class or standing for long periods of time. In an effort to raise awareness for children who can’t stand for themselves due to immobilization, members of the Florida Gamma Chapter of Phi Delta Epsilon (PhiDE) held a philanthropic event Wednesday.
Members of the undergraduate medical fraternity participated in Stand for the Kids, an event sponsored by PhiDE International that raises awareness for the fraternity’s philanthropic partner, the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN). UM first hosted a Stand for the Kids event last year while the event was still being piloted.
Phillip Chan, president of UM’s PhiDE chapter, chaired the event along with sophomore Amelia Bahamonde. The most important portion of the event is the Stand Hour, Chan said. During the Stand Hour, participants stood from 3- 4 p.m. Wednesday, the same time as UM’s partner chapter across the globe in Gdansk, Poland.
“Our members stand in unison to raise awareness for the cause,” he said.
UM student performance groups including fusion a capella group Tufaan provided entertainment throughout the event. Other student organizations such as the UM Student Honor Council, Alpha Epsilon Delta premedical honor society, Art for Kids and Dance Marathon were invited to set up fundraising booths. In addition, PhiDE surgical teddy bears and the iconic yellow and red CMN hot air balloon cards were sold to raise funds.
Bahamonde described how teamwork between the fraternity’s philanthropic committee and other organizations made the event a success.
“Since the beginning of the semester, we’ve had all hands on deck from members of the fraternity who pitch in for every single task we needed,” she said. “We also had help from all of our co-sponsoring organizations that got the word out and bought our tanks.”
Throughout the rest of the event, booths, music and a CMN bounce house were set up at the Lakeside Patio. Students could purchase Chipotle burritos, receive a henna tattoo or pay to pie a PhiDE member in the face.
“I definitely had a great time getting my friends excited about throwing a pie in my face,” said freshman member Gavin Grieb. “And it’s for such a great cause.”
All of the proceeds from Stand for the Kids are given to CMN.
“The money we raise does not go into sponsoring the event,” said Chan. “Rather, every penny is donated straight to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.”
Prior to Wednesday, PhiDE had already raised $500 by tabling and selling tank tops, bears and CMN balloons. This year, PhiDE hopes to raise $5,000 towards CMN, nearly twice the $2,800 the chapter raised last year.
The donations help PhiD’s local partner, the Miami Children’s Hospital, for recreational use, kids’ toys, treatment, beds and medical expenses.
Farrah Mohammed, a junior Stand for the Kids committee member said the reward is seeing the funds raised help the children.
“Sure, we might be a little tired,” said Mohammed. “But our complaints aren’t nearly as big as those of the children who can’t stand up at all. At the end of the day, it’s all worth it.”