This spring, the faculty, staff, and students at the Ross Medical Education Center Portage, Michigan campus decided to combine their monthly community service project with some good old fashioned competition! The Ross-wide community effort during the month of March centers around food collection and distribution in the local communities. So, in Portage, their project was a non-perishable food drive collection for local organization Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes.
What else was a big deal during the month of March you ask? March Madness! The campus incorporated the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament into their efforts. Simply by adding that extra competitive edge, they were able to get the students even more excited about bringing in items to donate.
Here’s a breakdown of what the campus did: all of the staff members filled out a March Madness Tournament Bracket and each of them chose a different team to win it all. Then if a student brought in non-perishable food items to donate, they got to pick a staff member’s team to be on. Students chose which team they wanted to be on by which bracket they thought was most accurate and likely to win. There were a lot of heated discussions about who was the best team and most likely to win it all! Also, the upsets early on just added to the excitement.
“Many of the students got really into it and excited about bringing in items for the collection so that they could pick a team all while contributing to a great cause,” said Lindsey Petts, a Ross Admissions Representative. “Whichever staff member’s bracket won, everyone on that staff member’s team won. The real winner though was the food drive, as we collected two large barrels full of non perishable food items to donate to Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes.” All of the other staff members, instructors, and students felt the same way.