Timmy Chapter Spotlight: Boston University

Timmy Chapter Spotlight: Boston University
November 14, 2016 Callie Daniels-Howell

Each week we highlight one of our 48 college and high school chapters. These chapters do an amazing job throughout the year executing the three pillars of a Timmy chapter: Advocate, Serve, Fundraise. This week we are spotlighting Boston University.

What are some recent events you have done, or goals you have achieved?

We have had a busy fall semester so far. We’ve incorporated advocacy discussions into our bi-weekly general meeting, which have been a huge success. Some of the topics included mental health, Hurricane Matthew, and the role of NGOs in charity work. We also partnered with another Boston University club, Boston University International Affairs Association (BUIAA), for a discussion regarding humanitarian aid in Haiti. Our first local service event was with the Greater Boston Food Bank, in which participants sorted and packed a total of 9,781 meals. Regarding fundraising, we partnered with BU Agganis Arena for a post event cleanup, and recently we had an OTTO Pizza fundraiser at the local OTTO restaurant. The OTTO fundraiser successfully aided fundraising campaigns while doubling as a chapter bonding event. This past weekend (11/12) we also hosted a Trivia Night, which was a huge fundraising success. We raised over $300 from this event. In addition to the trivia, the night included food (donated from local restaurants), comedy performances from BU’s funniest comedians, and prizes for the winning team (donated from local stores, and organizations).

What events or goals are you gearing up for in the near future?  What are your plans to make these happen successfully?

In the near future (rest of the fall semester), we will be holding an Insomnia Cookies fundraiser at the local stores. We’re hosting this on the last day of classes, expecting students to take a “Timmy study break” before final exam week begins. In preparation for the holiday season, we will be holding a holiday card making event in which members can make cards for patients of Boston Children’s Hospital.

Next semester, we have three major projects. We are starting the spring semester with our Second Annual Timmy Benefit Gala. Our chapter’s first gala last year was a success, and we are hoping to build on that this coming year. There will be speakers and a silent auction. We have a few confirmed donors at this point, including Otterbox, Hubway, Kind Bar, among other companies. The next project we have planned is the spring break trip to Mao, Dominican Republic. This will be our chapter’s second trip to Mao. During the first week of April, our chapter is participating in our first Global Health Week with themes from Poverty Inc. Events include screening the documentary, panel discussions, a white board campaign, and hopefully a fundraiser.

Is your chapter heading out on a trip soon? How is that part of your chapter preparing, and how is the rest of your chapter supporting the trip?

Our chapter’s trip will be traveling to Mao, Dominican Republic during spring break (March 4th – 12th). As of now, we have selected our team and held one trip meeting. We’re planning to have bi-weekly meetings and discussions regarding essential logistical and idealistic aspects pertaining to our work in Mao. We will also be holding a “mock clinic” to prepare our trip team for the clinics. We want our members to be fully aware of the risks of short term volunteering and voluntourism, and how we can create dialogue among our team. Our hopes are that this dialogue will create a more effective trip with our partner organization, BANELINO, in the host communities. We anticipate that this pre-trip planning and discussion will expose the team to cultural norms and ideals endemic to the Dominican Republic. We look forward to working with DaVita again on this trip in Mao, and we hope they will continue working with our chapter in the future. The rest of the chapter continues to be involved with our group, aware that they can still be a positive effect in Timmy’s referral care system through fundraising efforts. All of our members understand that the trip is a part of our chapter’s projects, but members can be involved in many other ways.

What kind of assistance or support do you need? This is your platform to reach out!

Boston University is a large, urban campus, making it difficult at times to engage students with Timmy. There are numerous pre-health groups that range from strictly international medical service to public health discussion. As a relatively new chapter in this environment, we could use advice on how to better expand campus awareness for Timmy. Thanks to the help of the pre-med office and BU Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, we are slowly growing membership from pre-health students, but we would like to diversify our group with the inclusion of students from other majors and interests.

What are you most excited for during your year with Timmy?

We are very excited for the 2nd Annual Timmy Benefit Gala, as it is a great collaborative experience for different groups around campus and the BU area. We have a fantastic opportunity to spread the word of Timmy to various student organizations, professors, and families. It is also a way for the eboard and general members to reflect on the work we have accomplished during the past year. Outside organizations have already donated silent auction prizes, which we hope will appeal to our guests. The gala fundraising goal is $2,000. We hope that this year’s gala with be an even greater success than last year.

We also look forward to returning to Mao, Dominican Republic, to collaborate with BANELINO and local communities, in what we hope will further develop our relationship with the host communities. We had a fantastic trip last year, and we can’t wait to build on its success.

Global Health Week will be our first campus wide event, and we’re looking forward to increasing our campus impact. We have many great events planned for Global Health Week, and we’re excited to engage with a wider selection of BU’s community. This week will not only expand Timmy’s mission on campus, but will also catalyze discussion regarding issues in global health.

Anything else you would like to share with us?

We have a close-knit group of students on the eboard this year, and we spend quality time together. Our family-like friendship attracts committed general members, who want to get involved in any way possible. By having these kind of bonds within the eboard, our chapter does not exhibit a power differential that can commonly occur in student organizations between the eboard and general members. As a result, we noticed an increase in member involvement and general chapter size this year. We hope to continue to see the same dedication and passion in our current and future members.