Answering the call to serve: Students help communities during pandemic

TWU student Rudie Spigarelli
TWU physical therapy PhD student Rudie Spigarelli

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, people are continuing to find ways to help their friends, neighbors and local communities— and TWU students are no exception. Several College of Health Sciences students have taken up the call to help however they can. These are just a few examples of the great work that is happening during these difficult times.

Houston physical therapy PhD student Rudie Spigarelli is volunteering her time to help her fellow medical professionals. She is working with MedSupplyDrive, a nationwide student-led effort to get personal protective pquipment (PPE) to hospitals. MedSupplyDrive organizes calls to research labs, biotechnology companies, carpenters, painters, tattoo shops, hair salons and others to donate their unused gloves, masks, gowns and other PPE to local hospitals, ERs and clinics, where it is desperately needed. Volunteers help safely distribute donations across the country and Texas.

Roselyn Cedno Davila, a master’s student in health studies from Dallas, has been accepted to participate in a fast-track volunteer program for the Crisis Text Line project. Her training began on April 6 and consists of 15-17 hours per week for two weeks. Once she completes her training, she will commit to 200 volunteer hours for Crisis Text Line, which is the “first, free, national 24/7 text line for people in crisis.”

“I am so happy that I will be able to help others in these difficult times,” said Davila. “I used to work in the ER, so I can only imagine what they and other individuals who rely on their services are going through. This is a time to keep our families, friends and communities together even if it is virtually. I just want to be ready to help as soon as possible while we all continue to stay home wondering when all this will be over.”

Kinesiology students Amy Wellborn and Ashleigh Shy-Cridell are finishing their 350-hour internship at Medical City Plano Cardiac Rehab. They have organized 12 weeks worth of newsletters to send to patients and community class members, highlighting exercise tips and ways to keep motivated and engaged while everyone remains in their homes. The newsletters also will help the medical center keep in contact with people who live alone and are feeling isolated during this time.

Health studies students Andrea Gorenstein Dourado, Miriam Leon and Olivia Tuminello have brought incredible support to the clients, volunteers and staff of Crossroads Community Services during their internships. As a food pantry in South Dallas, Crossroads Community Services has seen a large increase in the need for its services in recent months.

“Due to COVID-19, our pantry has experienced the busiest days in our pantry’s 20-year history,” said Jesse Kramer, food programs manager. “We are so impressed by the TWU interns we are hosting this semester, and Andrea, Miriam and Olivia are a big reason why we can continue to provide nutritious groceries. Thank you for partnering with Crossroads to nourish people and power change.”

Media Contact

Ray Willhoft
Director of Communications, Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership

Page last updated 8:38 AM, April 10, 2023