This year, Augusta University’s VolunTeen Board hosted its annual ICU drive to collect donations that will assist families of patients so they can focus on supporting their loved one.
Patients are often brought to Augusta University Medical Center from surrounding areas because AU Health has an adult Level I trauma center and a pediatric Level II trauma center. This often results in patients’ loved ones having to travel long distances to be here, sometimes unexpectedly.
“Every month, we either participate in a community service project or come together for a VolunTeen Board meeting,” said Jessica Tang, coordinator for volunteer engagement. “Since we have a pretty diverse group of teens, they were able to coordinate donations through their high schools, clubs, churches and other social groups that they are involved in. A number of the VolunTeens are return members and so they were familiar with the competition from the previous year.”
Since many families of patients travel long distances, Tang mentioned that lodging, personal care items and food are secondary to making sure they are here with their loved ones. Items donated ranged from non-perishable food to toiletries and coloring books.
“The VolunTeen program is one of my favorites because all the members that are selected for the board have a true heart for volunteerism and giving,” Tang said. “Many of them volunteered in the medical center over the summer and witnessed families and loved ones who were unexpectedly staying here to be with the patients.”
In total, the 2019-20 VolunTeen members collected over 11,000 items and distributed them to various units in the AU Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. The drive began in August and lasted until October.
The board has more service projects planned for the academic year, including the Golden Harvest Food Bank and the Dream Center.
For more information about the VolunTeen Board, contact Jessica Tang.
Learn more about Volunteer and Community Engagement.