True service is a marathon, not a sprint.
While it’s true that you can do good in the short term by serving others, there is little that compares to the lasting good that comes from continual reinvestment of service in the same location. This year, students from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Marymount University will celebrate 10 years of service in Central America when students travel to Nicaragua to serve in public hospitals and clinics.
The program took its first trip in 2010, with five faculty members and 24 students traveling to Costa Rica to provide physical therapy services to underserved populations. The program returned to the same location in Costa Rica for the following six years until, on their last trip, they were met by four full-time physical therapists working in a clinic that had started from nothing and was now sustainable. Moving to Nicaragua, the students from the DPT program have continued to serve underserved patients in public hospitals and small clinics.
Over 10 years of service, thousands of patients have been impacted through this service opportunity with help from more than 250 students, 15 faculty members, two dozen clinic partners and three academic partners.
Celebrating a decade of service, DPT faculty and students are taking on a unique project. They plan to build a house for Maria-Jose, a six-year-old girl who lives with her parents and sister in a 8×10 foot makeshift home. It is actually little more than a single small room constructed from trees that are wrapped in thick plastic sheeting. The corrugated tin roof, set tentatively atop the tree branch posts, is the only shelter from the torrential downpours common during the rainy season.
Despite its humble appearance, this is home for the family. However, this special service project is expected to result in a new brick and mortar structure that will quadruple the family’s living space, and provide a 16×20 foot home.
To make this dream home a reality, DPT faculty and students are raising $20,000 to cover all costs associated with its construction. You can help by making a donation of any size, large or small, to build a house for Maria and her family.
Visit the Marymount Department of PT Donations page to make a contribution. For more information on this project, please contact Dr. Jason Craig.