Written By: India Taylor, PHSR Program Administrative Specialist
The Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) launched its Social Events Committee (SEC) a few years ago to promote and enhance productive engagement among faculty, staff, and students within the department. The goal of the committee was to break silos, boost morale, and build long-lasting relationships among all members of the department. The SEC is dedicated to creating a more balanced atmosphere within PHSR to help prevent burnout, decrease physical and emotional stress, and lessen the routine exhaustion that often comes with working or schooling.
I lead the SEC’s bimonthly meetings, during which our team discusses strategies and tactics to help us create and maintain an uplifting environment for all. One of our goals for this year was to increase our involvement in our local communities. To help us achieve that goal, we decided to reach out to various charities and other organizations to see where we could be of some assistance. Since many of our committee members have worked with Our Daily Bread in the past and have built great relationships with the organization, we decided to partner with it for our most recent community-based initiative.
Bonding with Colleagues in the Service of Others
The volunteers at Our Daily Bread asked us to donate premade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which are easy to store and even easier to prepare. We planned a date and time to hold the sandwich making marathon, sending emails and posting flyers throughout the department to inform our faculty, staff, and students about our upcoming event. We asked for volunteers, as well as donations of the following items:
- Jars of peanut butter
- Jars of jelly
- Boxes of gloves
- Loaves of bread
Our goal was to prepare at least 200 sandwiches. Before we knew it, the members of our department had graciously donated an abundance of supplies, and almost half of the department volunteered to prepare the sandwiches.
Taking a Little Time to Make a Big Impact
We came together on Feb. 12 and 13, and had a ball preparing the sandwiches! To help ensure that we met our goal, we designated two rooms for two 30-mintue sessions over the course of the two days. There were stations set up for groups of two to three people to form an assembly line or to prepare as many sandwiches as possible. Some people stayed the whole time, while others worked in shifts or came later to bag the sandwiches and clean up.
Although this event may have been designed as a community outreach event, it became a team bonding exercise. We all came together to have some fun and share lots of laughs, while supporting a great cause. The best part about the event was that, within just one hour, we prepared nearly 500 sandwiches. Our sandwiches fed more than 300 people the following day, which also happened to be Valentine’s Day. It couldn’t have been any sweeter than that!
I am super proud of PHSR for showing up and taking time out of their busy schedules to donate a surplus of supplies and demonstrate how small acts of kindness can make a huge impact on the lives of others.