When GateWay Community College EMT/EMS Fire Prep students enter the classroom, they aren’t just learning to be first responders; they also learn the importance of giving back to their community. Recently, the students identified a charity they wanted to contribute to this holiday season and selected All Faith Community Services, an organization that provides food bank services for the city of Buckeye and surrounding areas, as well as provide mobile food pantry service in Goodyear.
“In our EMT program, we teach our students that to live a life of service as an EMT, you must know the importance of giving service to others,” said Jennifer Kline, program manager at the college. “This group of students exemplified the meaning of “making a difference” in their level of service to their community.”
Putting their collective muscle together, the group collected nearly 1,700 pounds of food in just one week. While a friendly competition kept them motivated, they knew the food would serve those most in need in the community. And the students’ acts of kindness and service did not stop there. Many volunteered over several days to help distribute food outside of class time.
Leading the charge was EMT Lab Tech, Ashley Yanez, who helped manage the project and keep all of the items organized. She also acted as the department’s liaison between the college and the charity.
“She did an incredible job ensuring our students and staff represented the college in an impeccable manner: She was on site each day the students volunteered to help things run smoothly,” added Kline. “The students insisted on proudly wearing their EMT uniform to show the community how wonderful our EMT program at GateWay is.”
And the program’s charitable efforts don’t appear to be slowing down. The EMS and Fire Prep cohort also participated in “No Shave November,” a common practice in the fire service community. They each paid to participate and donated all proceeds collected to Gabriel’s Angels, a non-profit that provides pet therapy activities to at-risk children. The EMT students and instructional team also plan to participate in the December food drive.
Making a difference while learning to save lives, the positive impact these GateWay EMT/EMS Fire Prep students have on the community around them will undoubtedly be felt for years to come.