Kylie Andersen, a third-year student at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, is among the many students who found themselves with extra time on their hands because of COVID-19. Andersen and her peers pulled together to use this time to be of help in their communities.
After researching various organizations and needs in their community, the students jumped right in to work — from packaging food for drive-through food bank services to providing babysitting services for essential workers and other community efforts in Rochester.
“It was an effort among a lot of different medical students,” Andersen says.
Andersen and a few of her classmates volunteered with Family Services of Rochester, Channel One and Rochester Public Schools to package food — 30 lbs. per box — for families to drive by and pick up as needed.
“At a time when money and access to food can be even more restricted than it normally is, I think it was a great thing they put together,” Andersen says.
Other students have been helping with Step up to Sit, an online service that connects high school and college students willing to offer their babysitting services with families who need them.
Dedicating some of their time to help others has proven to give back to these students in many ways, including giving them a sense of connection to the community they call home while at Mayo.
“Most of us just want Rochester to know that we view ourselves as part of the community even though a lot of us are from other places,” Andersen says.
She says she hopes that more people will consider volunteering or donating to the organizations that are providing valuable services to the community during a time of great need.