The Power of Pizza — Global Medical Brigades organize fundraisers to lower the cost of Honduras aid trip

Just make the call, choose the size, add your favorite toppings, wait for the delivery, and then watch how your pizza order benefits the health of a Honduran.

Beginning on Sept. 27, the Global Medical Brigades launched a series of fundraisers in an effort to pay for their medical relief trip to Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  The club will be flying to the capital of Honduras on Dec. 16 and returning on Dec. 26.

“The trip is pretty expensive, but only because most of the money that we are required to pay goes directly to the orphanages in the area and villagers,” said Rose Richmann, Lake Ann sophomore.  She participated in last year’s aid trip and is now in charge of coordinating this year’s fundraising.

Albion students traveled to a Honduran clinic last year and helped patients rotate through a triage unit, where locals were first seen by medical professionals.  Then, patients that were diagnosed received medications from a pharmacy.  Lastly, they saw a physician or dentist as needed.  The Brigades also brought basic medical supplies including Tylenol, aspirin, and pain medication for villagers.

“We get the majority of our medication donated from Health services,” said Nate McKee, Fort Wayne, Ind. senior.  McKee became president after last year’s trip.  According to, the Global Brigades are divided into nine sections:  architecture, business, dental, environment, water, law, public health, microfinance, and medical.

McKee is working towards introducing a Global Law Brigades to the school as a large percentage of students are focused on the field at Albion.  Their mission states “to empower rural communities in Panama with limited to no access to legal resources with the professional guidance and education to resolve their civil and property disputes.”

The Albion Hungry Howie’s is the major source of the Global Medical Brigade’s funding.  It costs $1,800 per student to travel to Honduras, $250 of which that goes directly to the locals.  From September until the end of the school year, the Brigades will receive 10 percent of pizza profits on every third Tuesday of each month.  Students have to mention the Albion Global Medical Brigades in order for the profits to go towards the club.

Richmann strongly believes there is power in numbers.

“If you help our group in fundraising, you’re directly helping us empower the Hondurans,” Richmann said.

Camille Haslinger, Grand Rapids sophomore, traveled to Honduras with other club members last year and also had the chance to visit with an orphanage.

“It was definitely different from here, I can say that,” Haslinger said.  “When we pulled up to the brigades sight each day, patients were lined up outside the clinic. They were just waiting for help.”

Haslinger not only taught Hondurans about medical care, but also learned from them. The locals changed her perspective on a culture and people so foreign to her.

“You leave with medical knowledge, but you also leave with a greater social knowledge, and I think that’s the most important part,” Haslinger said.

photos courtesy of Rose Richmann

About Nicholas Diamond 50 Articles
Nick is a junior from Rochester, Mich., majoring in French and minoring in cell and molecular biology. He has interests in serving Doctors Without Borders and in writing medical journalism. Follow him on Twitter @docteur_diamond.

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