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IL: Medical Students Spend Break Helping Give Kids the World

January 27, 2010

by Jill Blair-Smith

Three students from Midwestern University's Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine helped make the holiday season a little more special for children at Give Kids the World (GKTW) Village in Kissimmee, Fla.

As part in the Student Osteopathic Medical Association's annual Unity Project, student doctors Lisa Marie Piwoszkin, Vikram Gopal, and Steven Field, spent three days volunteering at Give Kids the World, a non-profit organization that gives children with life-threatening illnesses, as well as their families, a chance to escape the reality of their illness for a short time.

"The Give Kids the World Unity project is a great way to network with other osteopathic schools. We have the opportunity to spend a few days together helping this incredible organization. Going during the holiday season was such a treat and the families we met were so thankful for what GKTW was able to do for them with our help and the help of the hundreds of volunteers that help year round. In all actually, spending time with the kids was an even bigger reward," said Student Doctor Piwoszkin. "My last night in Kissimmee, I helped put on the weekly Village Idol (a talent show for the kids). Just to see the kids on stage, faces lit up, singing or dancing with all their heart to the cheers of their new friends touched my heart," she added.

The Unity Project, a community service project designed to create unity between medical students and the community, was started in 2005. In the past, Unity volunteers have helped victims of Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi and worked at homeless shelters in New York City. The Unity Project is funded by the American Osteopathic Foundation.

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For more information, please contact:
Jill Blair-Smith