BU Grads Take Part In First-Ever Alumni 'Steppin' Out'

( [email protected] ) Mar 08, 2004 11:19 AM EST

Medical supplies for third world countries are closer to their destination after 50 Baylor University Dallas Alumni volunteered a Saturday morning for the first-ever Dallas Steppin’ Out event on Feb. 7. After the activity, the group shared lunch at a nearby restaurant to unwind and visit.

Volunteers met at the MediSend International warehouse in Dallas where they sorted, boxed, labeled and inventoried hundreds of pounds of surplus medical supplies for the Dallas non-profit organization. Items inventoried included scrubs, new supplies and technical equipment sorted by need, such as orthopedics, neonatal and others.

Carol Kent, The Baylor Network coordinator for Dallas, said the experience was an education. “The supplies included tiny pieces of medical equipment valued at thousands of dollars. We had to figure out what some of it was.”

Brian Teusink, class of ’93, wanted an opportunity to offer more tangible service than just writing a check. “When you give money, you’re not sure where it goes. But helping Medisend gave a sense of immediate help to recipients all over the world,” he said.

Teusink said he enjoys participating in community service projects outside his church. “Volunteering through my church is always great, but I have felt a need to give to my community through another channel.”

Randy Stevens, class of ’80, appreciated the chance to make a difference for people in need in a developing country while talking with other alums. “I like to do things where we can socialize while we work on a service activity. I met a lot of people from different years, and we enjoyed talking about Baylor. Steppin’ Out wasn’t around when I was at Baylor, but now I’m planning to go to the Steppin’ Out event on campus in April with some of the others,” he said.

MediSend, founded in 1990 by neurosurgeon Dr. Martin Lazar, collects surplus supplies from hospitals, clinics, agencies and individuals in the United States, then sorts, inventories and ships them to pre-qualified charitable institutions overseas that offer medical services to indigent people. Since 1990, MediSend has sent more than 400 shipments of usable medical supplies and equipment, valued at nearly $14 million, to 71 countries.

The next Dallas Steppin’ Out event will be held on May 15 to benefit Buckner “Shoes for Orphan Soles.” A summer project on Aug. 7 will benefit the North Texas Food Bank.

Steppin’ Out, a community service activity sponsored by the university, was originally designed to provide students opportunities to develop a sense of social responsibility. The next event for undergraduate and other volunteers will take place in Waco on Saturday, April 3.