His fingers shaking, his muscles flexing, his eyeballs bulging out of their sockets, the student frantically picks up the last bottle of medicine at Walmart, finally achieving his last service credit for the year. But, is getting service credits really what the medicine drive is all about?
The 2013 Jesuit Medicine Drive has come along and Ms. Jan Jones and Mr. Max von Schlehenried need the help of the Jesuit community to donate medicine as they, along with students and doctors, embark on their journey to Panajachel, Guatemala this spring. These teachers ask that freshmen and sophomores bring at least three bottles of medicine to donate to their homeroom which will then be transported to the poor people of Guatemala.
The Jesuit medicine drive has been going on for 15 years now and continues to make Jesuit men “men for others”. The drive ensures that Jones, von Schlehenried, and Jesuit students will have enough medicine to take care of people in Guatemala who cannot afford medication. This trip will actually be the fourth time that Jesuit will visit Guatemala, a country that has needed this kind of generosity for a very long time.
“It was really incredible to see what these people live through every day, and to see that they are deprived of things as simple as antacid” remarked von Schlehenried, “but just a little effort on our part goes a long way for them.”
About half of all Guatemalan children suffer from chronic malnutrition and about 70% of the children around the city of Panajachel are malnourished. And only 30% of Guatemalan children get past the 6th grade and 79% of Guatemalan girls do not even finish elementary school.
All of these devastating realities are major reasons why Jones and von Schlehenried are traveling to Guatemala. “Students can bring in something to help us to help people who do not have the ability to afford these medicines,” said Jones about the people of Guatemala. “When you give, it actually makes you feel a little bit better.”
So to answer the opening question, the true meaning behind the medicine drive is to help those in need so that they may experience just a few of the blessings that we take for granted every day.
Medicine still needs to be donated as soon as possible and, even if you miss the deadline, you can still donate by contacting either Ms. Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mr. Von Schlehenried (email@example.com).