IMA World Health/Kara Eberle

A

sk a room full of college students how they would help raise money for a good cause and you might be surprised by what they come up with.

In Assistant Professor Carée Oslislo-Wizenberg’s case, she never knows what her Women’s Health students at Anne Arundel Community College will do.

But she knows it will be great.

And she has faith that their ideas will be supported by the college community, which is what happened when they planned the IMA World Health 5K Charity Run and Faux Baby Shower during the spring 2014 semester.

The events started with a conversation about IMA’s Safe Motherhood Kits and of birth experiences outside of the United States, Oslislo-Wizenberg explained.

A representative from IMA had spoken to the class, showed images from countries where women don’t have access to simple things, like sterile supplies, soap and gloves, and shared experiences from the field.

Afterward, the students brainstormed ways to help. Oslislo-Wizenberg gave each of them index cards and asked them to write down ideas. Some wanted to collect money, some wanted to help assemble Safe Motherhood Kits and others had bigger ideas, such as hosting a 5K run and a Faux Baby Shower.

Even though the events would be a lot of work and difficult to pull off in just a couple of months, the students took on the challenge.

“It was an outrageous amount of work, but there was lots of help,” Oslislo-Wizenberg said.

The college administration backed the efforts, as well.

“I never know what to expect, so I’m always very hopeful that the students will embrace what they’re exposed to and what they’re learning about and come up with their own creative way to help a community partner,” said Stephanie Goldenberg, program coordinator of the Center for Learning through Service at the college.

The baby shower was held on April 7 and collected items for Safe Motherhood Kits. A flier for the event read:

Every minute a woman dies from childbirth or unsanitary birthing conditions. IMA helps by sending Safe Motherhood Kits to third world countries in need. Help us out!

As part of the collaboration with others on campus, Culinary Arts students donated a cake that they decorated for the shower, “which was absolutely spectacular,” Oslislo-Wizenberg said.

On the day of the 5K, April 26, there were 69 registered runners and 18 volunteers on the Arnold campus. There also was a 50/50 raffle to raise money.

In the end, the ideas that began in the classroom raised $1,507 and helped collect 75 baby blankets, 211 washcloths, 241 bars of Ivory soap, 127 onesies and 104 baby hats.

And the students learned a lot.

“I just love the outcome of service learning,” Oslislo-Wizenberg said. “I love when they can grasp these concepts, the objectives and the content, and broaden their perspective.”

Caree J. Oslislo-Wizenberg (Courtesy of AACC Department of Health and Human Services)

Oslislo (Photo courtesy of AACC Department of Health and Human Services)

About Carée Oslislo-Wizenberg

Age: 41

Day job: Assistant Professor at Anne Arundel Community College

Family: Two children, Parker, 5, and Griffin, 4, and husband, David.

How she feels about IMA: “I’m really proud to be a part of it…. I appreciate the work that goes to such a great outcome.”

Want to get involved, too?

There are many ways to help IMA and the people we serve.

Start your own fundraiser.

Request a speaker from IMA to talk to your students.

Donate.

— Volunteer.