Across the globe, healthcare workers have been working around the clock to look after COVID-19 (Coronavirus) patients. To support them, Diploma Programme (DP) students at Riverwood International Charter School, in Georgia, U.S., initiated the project Food for the Frontlines, which delivers free meals to healthcare workers at hospitals in Athens and Atlanta.
Ashley Wang, DP student and founder of the project, explains: “We wanted to make our own difference during this time by helping and giving thanks to the healthcare workers, who are so courageous and hardworking.” Ashley and her fellow students Lily Stouman, Aahil Lalani, Murphy Barja and Bergen Thielen have all taken different roles in the team, which is part of their creativity, activity, service (CAS) project.
Ashley says she was inspired by her father, James Wang, who recently opened the Jinya restaurant in Athens, Georgia, and donated a total of 90 meals to hospitals. She decided she wanted to raise enough money to buy at least 50 more ramen and rice meals from Jinya to distribute to healthcare workers.
She came across a few videos of people embroidering clothes on TikTok, which gave her the idea of making and selling embroidered t-shirts to raise funds for the meals. She bought a few trial shirts, a sewing needle, embroidery string, and the embroidery hoops and taught herself how to embroider through YouTube tutorials. The project team worked out a business plan, created a website and an Instagram page (@food4thefrontlines) and began selling customizable t-shirts.
To date, the team has surpassed its original target and has raised US$ 1,962 after expenses. The students have been able to provide meals for 150 medical workers at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens and Northside Hospital in Sandy Springs, GA.
Ashley says the team has displayed the IB learner profile attributes. “We are risk-takers because we were not sure selling t-shirts and collecting donations would be able to raise enough money to provide meals for our healthcare workers. However, this did not stop us from trying our best to reach out to peers, family and other friends to show them what our end goal was.”
“We are communicators because as a team we must collaborate our ideas to bring about efficient execution of our project. We are knowledgeable because we must stay informed on how COVID-19 affects us, and our healthcare workers as well.”
“Finally, we are reflective because we had a discussion about healthcare workers not receiving the recognition they truly deserve. Even outside of this virus, healthcare workers are constantly working to make our lives better, yet they have never received this much praise until now. Also, this is not limited to hospital staff. There are more people on the front lines who deserve recognition, especially during these times, such as EMT workers, firefighters and more.”
The Food for the Frontlines team plans to continue selling t-shirts and hopes to deliver at least 100-150 more meals this summer.