CLAS student org provides care packages to hospital patients
Afrah Arif is a junior pre-med student studying biology at Wayne State. She had an honors project idea that became much more.
Arif wanted her project to have a positive impact on the surrounding community, so she thought she would deliver food packages to people with food insecurity. The biggest problem with her idea was that food is perishable.
She sought the help of her friend, Obadeh Mohiddin, a junior pre-med student studying biochemistry at WSU. Together, the two created Thrive, a student organization that creates care packages for hospital patients.
The organization won $2000 from OptimizeWayne and just wrapped up its first semester. They have more than 30 active members and expect to continue to grow.
On Nov. 30, Thrive members got together to create the care packages they had been fundraising for all semester. The packages consisted of lip balm, lemon candy, gloves, a small brain game and a personalized note. The 70 care packages created were then delivered to the Karmanos Cancer Institute on Dec. 8.
"We want to have people deliver the packages they make and form relationships with the patients they deliver them to," says Arif. "It humanizes the patient."
Mohiddin says the experience is extremely valuable to both students and patients. "You don't really understand the hospital environment and what the patients go through until you have that contact."
The organization hopes to grow next semester and eventually expand across the state and country. "We don't want it to just be hospitals," says Arif. "We want it to eventually be for schools and refugees, too."
Thrive has received a lot of support and interest from large organizations such as the the Detroit Pistons and hope to partner with businesses and companies to expand their reach. "There are certain things you learn inside of a classroom and other things you have to learn outside of a classroom," says Mohiddin. "Patient relationships and understanding is something we are trying to help people learn."
Although a lot of Thrive members are pre-med students, the organization is open to anyone who is interested and wants to help the community. "You're just helping people, you're putting a smile on someone's face," Mohiddin says. "Thrive is more transparent than anything because you see what your money and work is benefitting."
To learn more about Thrive and to get involved, follow Thrive on Facebook and Instagram.
Written by Alexandra Leroux, Marketing and Communications Associate