Level up: 3 ways to give back during ASDA’s Week of Service

It’s almost that time of year! Now that the holidays are behind us, ASDA is looking forward to Week of Service, taking place Jan. 17-23. This is a time for ASDA chapters across the country to engage in community service challenges and celebrate giving back. Our theme this year is “Renewing Our Reach.” We know the past few years have been tough, and we are so excited to reconnect with the community and get back to doing what we do best: serving those in need.

To involve everyone, from the individual to the community, we developed three different levels of service challenges for the week — with dental-related titles, of course!

  • The Incisor-Level Challenge: Blood Donation
    • This is an opportunity to get involved on an individual level, where you can save up to three lives by donating blood. Don’t forget to snap a picture when you donate, and tag @dentalstudents and use #ASDAWeekofService for the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.
  • The Canine-Level Challenge: Coats and Cans
    • This level is all about coming together as a chapter. If going out in the community is not an option for you, take part in the third annual coats-and-cans challenge. The chapter that donates the most clothing and non-perishable food items will win an award.
  • The Molar-Level Challenge: In the Community
    • If your chapter is ready to go back out and directly serve the community, this level is for you. There are so many volunteering opportunities that qualify for this challenge, from coordinating trash pick-up to serving food at a soup kitchen. Get creative and do some good! When you do, don’t forget to post your pictures, tag @dentalstudents, and use #ASDAWeekofService for a chance to win a $150 Amazon gift card.

My chapter members at Houston are so excited about getting the chance to participate in all three challenges! Our dental school is right next to one of the biggest medical centers in the world, and there are many opportunities to give blood. Our school even has a blood donation bus that parks in our parking lot once every few months so students and faculty can donate. If your school doesn’t have as many options, reach out to your local Red Cross and see if you can set aside a time for your chapter to donate blood together.

For the coats-and-cans drive in the past, our community service leaders found it easier to have everyone Venmo our chapter so that we could buy non-perishable food items and coats. We know that students are busy, and it’s easy to forget to pick up an extra can of pasta sauce and bring it to school. We had a positive response from our students.

In a city as big as Houston, there are so many opportunities to give back in the community. Our chapter organized a trash pick-up just around our school, and we gave a prize for the weirdest item collected (for those interested, it was a bag of potatoes). We also regularly volunteer at our local food bank, make oral hygiene packs for various shelters and support organizations in the city, and volunteer at Texas Mission of Mercy.

However you and your chapter decide to participate, we are so excited to see what events and initiatives everyone comes up with! Look out for more promotional videos, social media posts and highlights of the top ASDA community service leaders in the country in the coming weeks.

~Clara Kohlmetz, Texas-Houston ’23, ASDA Council on Professional Issues Associate

Clara Kohlmetz

Clara Kohlmetz, Texas-Houston ’23, serves as an associate on the ASDA Council on Professional Issues, president of Texas-Houston ASDA and secretary for district 9.

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