News & Stories

Cards Connect Students with Community Members

Second-year College of Medicine student Saimanthra Ganesh reports that Northeast Ohio Medical University’s Palliative Care Interest Group (PCIG) has found a way to stay engaged with its local community in a small but meaningful way: by “adopting” two units within ​Hattie Larlham​ – a nonprofit organization in Mantua, Ohio, that takes care of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Thirty-five NEOMED students are paired up individually with a specific resident of Hattie Larlham. Each month, the students send a colorful greeting care on an appropriate theme. In February, it was a Valentine. Back in August, students designed their own watermelon card and in September, a “Back-To-School” concept was created!  

Oroshay Kaiwan, a first-year College of Medicine student, said, “Through this opportunity, I have made a new friend and it gives me great joy knowing that I can brighten someone’s day.”  

Lauri Molnar, the volunteer coordinator of Hattie Larlham, said, “​Students who contributed their time and talents to make cards truly brought smiles to the adults and children we support. COVID-19 has limited the integration in the community for those we serve with intellectual and developmental disabilities this past year at Hattie Larlham group homes and our long-term care facility. Getting a handmade card brings the community to them at home.”