Undergrads Help Isolated Patients Stay Connected
Earlier this month, Angella Fajardo (BBA ’20) and her friends decided to launch a fundraiser called, “iPads for Patients” to help isolated patients stay connected with their loved ones during this pandemic.
Aaron Hou, the founder and organizer for the GoFundMe campaign, came up with this idea after COVID-19 affected his hospital placement. Since he was no longer able to volunteer in-person and the facilities did not have the resources for him to support the patients remotely, he looked for an alternative solution.
He discovered that many patients are experiencing mental and emotional strain due to hospital visitor restrictions that are in place to prevent the spread of the virus. He came across a fundraiser by a New Yorker, who has been donating iPads to hospitals to help patients, and was inspired to create a similar campaign.
Hou knew that he needed a diverse team for a successful execution, so he recruited five friends with unique skill sets. “Our small but mighty team runs very horizontally with much overlap, but we all have distinct specializations,” shared Fajardo, who is responsible for the marketing side.
She attributes her marketing and management acumen to the lessons she learned at Schulich, inside and outside of the classroom. “I learned how to think critically of the operations and strategy to consistently be proactive in mitigations,” said Fajardo. “Beyond the classroom, being involved in extracurricular organizations gave me the tools to execute successful digital marketing, corporate relations communications and team dynamics.”
Fajardo also realized the power of the Schulich network, as she believes the community was very supportive in spreading awareness for the cause.
The team has decided to partner with Sunnybrook Health Foundation, Michael Garron Hospital, Mount Sinai Health System Foundation and Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation to distribute the tablets to patients. They are now looking to expand into long-term care homes to specifically aid the elderly.