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Students Raise Food and Funds for San Francisco Families in Need

Students collect donations during a break at school.

November  24, 2009

In the spirit of giving back to the community, students at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry recently organized a successful holiday food drive and fundraiser to benefit needy families throughout the Bay Area.

The effort was part of a new community outreach endeavor, Pacific Pays it Forward, recently launched by student leaders involved with the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) Pacific Chapter. Class of 2011 students Dan Hammer and Saba Khandani are spearheading the program, which began in October.

Throughout the school year, Pacific Pays it Forward will offer opportunities for students, staff and faculty at the Dugoni School of Dentistry to reach out to the San Francisco Bay Area through philanthropic activities extending beyond the dental community. Working with established charity organizations for local youth, seniors, veterans and underprivileged San Franciscans, participants from the school will dedicate their time to helping others in need.

In October, students participated in an "Up On Top" afterschool program for youth in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. During this event, students helped disadvantaged kindergarteners and first through fifth graders carve pumpkins and make Halloween crafts.

From November 10 to 20, students sponsored a food drive through the San Francisco Food Bank. Faculty, students and staff placed more than 400 cans and boxes of food in the donation bins. Additionally, students donated $1,674, which will be matched by the Food Bank to translate to more than $15,000. The money raised will benefit homeless and hungry citizens in the San Francisco Bay Area this holiday season and beyond.

To cap off 2009, students will adopt a family in need through Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, the location of one of the dental school's off-campus clinics. Students will donate gifts, food and time to ensure that the family has an enjoyable holiday season.

"Pacific Pays it Forward is a great way for the dental school to stay engaged with our surrounding communities," said Khandani. "As dental students we make a difference in the lives of our patients, but this program allows us to go beyond our work in dentistry by positively impacting our surrounding San Francisco community."

The American Student Dental Association is a national student-run organization whose mission is to protect and advance the rights, interests and welfare of students pursuing careers in dentistry. More than 87% of all dental students nationwide join the association.

Category Type: General, Community Outreach

Contact:  Office of Public Relations, 415.929.6434, pr@pacific.edu