Saturday, April 12, 2014


I am really excited to be able to work with all of you to make the 2014 Foothill College Medical/Dental Brigade come to fruition. I have just sent out a rather long email detailing how we are going to move forwards, and I thank you all for taking the time to read it.

If you did not receive this email and are an active or interested member, I apologize that I did not have you in my contacts. Please contact me and we can rectify this.

The first deadline for personal fundraising is April 30th. Every member will need to have $250 in their Empowered account by this time. Before the end of the month I will send out information to help members raise the necessary funds. I am confident that our fundraising this year will help to significantly lower the cost of the trip for everyone (who participates in group fundraising).


Monday, March 31, 2014

Hello brigaders!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to come to our mandatory meetings, and to everyone who took a box(es) home.  This was a huge help given our storage problem - hopefully we will sell most of what is left at our next Flea Market Sale so we don't have to take anything home with us!

If you came to one of the Mandatory Meetings, you should be all caught up with what to do before the brigade.  If you need a reminder, please read through our MEETING AGENDA -- this info can also be found in the STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR BRIGADERS.

If you haven't already, please sign-up for one or more of the CLUB GROUPS. Please also refer to the this sheet in case you need to remember which group you have signed up for.   I will have a link to an info sheet describing each group a little bit later. If you would like to sign up for something and are not yet on the list, please email us your info and which group(s) you would like to be a part of.  Everyone should be using this free time to contact the other members of your group to plan the next steps!

  • For example, if you have signed up for the fundraising group, get in touch with one another and start brainstorming fundraising ideas (and contacting the event planners, if applicable)
  • If you have signed up for the Children's Charla group, start gathering materials needed and brainstorming lesson plans
  • We will be emailing each group with info on where to start, as well as some ideas to work off of

  • Get started on your vaccinations now (as listed in our Meeting Agenda/Step-by-Step for Brigaders).  Some vaccinations require more than one shot, to be given months apart.  We have about 5 months before the brigade, so be sure to contact your doctor ASAP.  When making your appointment, let them know you need a "travel medicine" appointment.
  • As Foothill students, you have access to the HEALTH SERVICES CENTER on campus.  They provide immunizations and physicals at a very low cost to students.
  • Remember that our DEPOSIT DEADLINE is April 30, 2014.  You must have at least $250 in your account by April 30th.
One brigader asked if they can have their money ready in a personal account rather than in the Empowered account -- the short answer is 'No'.  Please be aware that by depositing your fundraising money into, it is made available to our Global Brigades team for purchasing airfare and organizing all of our other expenses (room + board, security, transportation, etc)  With no money in your Empowered account, Global Brigades cannot accommodate you on our upcoming brigade.  Thanks!

Quick overview of the brigade
Before we go on the brigade, you may feel like you do not completely understand how the brigade itself will unfold once we get to Honduras.  I felt this same way last year, so let me give you a quick run-down of what we will do once we get to Honduras and begin prepping for the clinic.

  • DAY 1: Land in Honduras and go through Customs.  We will have ALL of our medication packed into large suitcases, which we check at the airport (and pay the necessary fees).  After we get through Customs, we will meet our security and brigade staff, who will lead us to the trucks that will carry our luggage and the bus that will transport us brigaders.  We will help the staff load and unload the trucks.
  • We will settle in to our posada (like a private motel with dorm-style rooms) after unloading the trucks.  That night we will begin sorting medication into Ziploc baggies, which will be stored in the pharmacy during the brigade.  We will also have sign-ups for which area of the brigade you would like to work in.  Each person will work in a different area each day, with no repeats. (You will choose from triage, physician consultation, dental clinic, OB/GYN [female students only], children's charla, and pharmacy)
  • DAY 2: Every year is a little bit different, but we may visit an orphanage on this day as we did last year.  The orphanage we visited was founded by the same people who started Global Brigades, and we'll get a short and sweet history lesson of how GB started and expanded. When we return to the posada, we will continue sorting medication.
  • DAY 3: First day of the brigade.  We wake up early and load the trucks with the medication.  We drive to the site of the clinic (which could be 3 hours away from where we are staying - remember, we will be serving a rural population!).  We will set up the pharmacy, dental clinic, OB/GYN office, children's charla space, and triage.  The clinic will be open from about 8am-3pm (we will try to return to the posada before the rain, as we will be in Honduras during the rainy season and the roads in these rural areas are not paved).  Expect a LONG line of people waiting right when we get there!  There will also be a couple interpreters there to help anyone with communication.  When we leave, we will pack up all of our supplies, load the trucks, and then help unload the trucks when we return to our posada.  That evening we will have a debriefing, led by our GB guide and interpreters.  We will also do data entry of patient information into GB's medical records, both during the clinic and afterward if need be.
  • DAY 4, DAY 5: Repeat of Day 3. At the end of Day 5, the GB staff will have something fun planned for the night.
  • DAY 6: Volunteer with another brigade for half a day.  Last year we worked with Water Brigades to help finish digging trenches for one village's first-ever fresh water system!  That evening there will be another fun event just for us.
  • DAY 7: Departure day.  Enjoy breakfast, help clean up any remaining supplies, and have a safe trip home!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hi All,

The fundraiser tomorrow has been canceled, due to lack of names on the sign-up sheet. We can't hold a fundraiser with no people! It is a group effort to make these fundraisers to happen. I'd like to give a huge thank-you to the few who did put their names down.

Finals are around the corner, so it is important to stay positive and not get stressed out. We will be very active in our fundraising spring quarter. I have no doubt that we will meet our goals.

Good luck everyone - stay healthy.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

The whole group after a super fun day of digging trenches for that village's first ever clean water system (2013)
Hi everyone!

My apologies for having to cancel last week's meeting - let's get everyone up to date.

Our Doodle Poll is now closed.  Our mandatory meetings will be:

Tuesday, March 18, 5pm-6pm (with Jamie)
Friday, March 21, 12pm-1pm (with Noah)
In Room 5113

If you are planning to go on the brigade but cannot make either of these times, please email us.

The Biology Department has graciously allowed us to store all of our flea market items in their storage unit on campus, but the time has come for us to move everything out of there because they need that space back.  We need everyone to take at least one box during whichever mandatory meeting you are attending, to keep in storage until our next flea market sale in May.

To help lighten the load for everyone, I will be having a garage sale at my house on Sunday, March 16 from noon to 4pm.  Please sign up here to help at this fundraiser.  If you can make it to our meeting on Wednesday, you can take at least one box at that time and bring it with you to the sale on Sunday.  If you are going to help at the garage sale, it would be a huge help if you would take a box from our storage unit with you.  I know it sucks to hang on to old items, but we have no other place to put everything (and I personally already have several boxes in my own storage unit as well as in my parents' garage). So, thank you for your cooperation!

On Monday, March 17 we will be hosting an on-campus fundraiser for St. Patrick's Day.
Our fundraiser will be a guessing game, and the rules are simple:

  • We will have a bowl of green grapes and a stack of green 3x5 cards.  
  • Each participant pays $1 to guess how many grapes are in the bowl, and they will write down his guess and contact info on the green card.  
  • The person whose guess closest to the correct number of grapes gets half the amount of money we raised
  • The person whose guess is furthest from the actual number wins the grapes.  

We will have this fundraiser during college hour, noon-1pm in the quad.  If anyone is able to get a bunch of green grapes donated, that would be preferable to one of us buying it.  Please sign up here to help host the table.

We have asked one of our members, Meileena, to take care of our Facebook account, so a big THANK YOU to Meileena for doing this!  Keeping all avenues of information updated is surprisingly time-consuming, so this is a huge load off of Noah and myself!

Speaking of social networks, we've also created a Twitter account in the hopes it will help everyone stay updated on club happenings.  If you have a Twitter account, please follow us @FHMedDenBrigade.

Noah has been calling around to different places to see if we can still host a face-paining booth, and also offer henna tattoos since we have at least one talented member who does henna.  If anyone else knows how to do henna tattoos, please contact us.  More info on these events when/if they come together.

That's it for now.  We hope to see you at our upcoming meetings.  Please see the side bar to the right for all of that info, and info on the events mentioned above.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The front of the line of the 800+ Honduran residents
we served at our pop-up clinic in our 2013 brigade
Meeting on 2/19/2014.  Members present: Jamie, Noah, Dr. Schultheis, Trang, Elizabeth, Marcella

Hello everyone,

I have some unfortunate news to start us off: we will not be hosting a face-painting booth at Sunday Streets in March.  It turns out that the rules of the event prohibit any fundraising.  We could host a booth to raise awareness about our club, but at this point in the year we should instead focus on fundraising efforts.  If anyone has ideas on where we could host a booth with a suggested donation collection, please send us an email.

A big shout out goes to Marcella for volunteering to create a club poster for us that we can set up at our tabling and fundraising events.  This poster will have photos and some text information about the club and will hopefully be visually stimulating for prospective members and donors.

This coming Wednesday 2/26 we will host a table at the Foothill Community Resource Fair in the campus quad.  This will be from noon-1pm, AKA College Hour.  Thank you so much to Grace for volunteering to make candy gift baggies that we can hand out during the event.

There was some talk of hosting a St. Patrick's Day-themed event on campus.  As per Foothill's rules, we cannot sell anything on campus that we have made ourselves, so we were thinking of selling green packaged items like green Otter Pops, green M&Ms, green apple caramel pops (I can just picture see the dental hygiene staff cringe), and possibly face paint a shamrock on fellow students.  We were also thinking that we could have a bowl of green grapes and offer a prize to anyone who donates to the club in exchange for guessing how many grapes there are.  The guesser closest to the actual number of grapes gets a gift basket, and the furthest away from the actual number gets the grapes!  If anyone would like to take on this event, please let us know.  The ideas are all in place, we only need one or two coordinators to tie all the pieces together.

Another fundraising idea we had during the meeting is to set up a raffle night, or a "crapple" night.  We all know what a raffle is, right?  Well, Crapple is like a raffle but the participants run the risk (or great opportunity) of winning an item from our flea market or a new prize, like a gift basket or gift card.  I already have a gift basket that has been donated to us from Philz Coffee.

*We implore each member to email one store, market, or other company asking them if they participate in events or donations with local nonprofits.  All it took for me was one email to Philz using their contact info on their website, and their community outreach department offered us some cool swag for whatever purpose we please.  Other markets that you can contact can be Cost Plus World Market, Whole Foods,Trader Joe's, Fraiche frozen yogurt, Sprinkles Cupcakes, or the myriad of restaurants spanning from Palo Alto to San Jose.  You could also ask around from local places that offer services like spa services, chiropractic care, dance lessons, etc*

We can use these donations from each place to create gift baskets that can be raffled off during an event, TBD.  Remember, Global Brigades, inc is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, so any donations given are tax deductible. Here is a copy of the tax receipt.  Our tax ID is Global Brigades, Inc (EIN 37-1551109)

Also, back in November I started a group fundraising page on  ThredUp is an online consignment store for women's and children's clothing.  You send your gently used, brand-name clothing to them and they purchase the ones they can re-sell.  I sent in a bag of clothes that I gathered from our flea market collection and earned us $133.40!  If you would like to see if you can earn money for the club by selling your brand name clothing, check out their purchasing requirements.  If you are successful in making a sale, you can have your earnings donated to our club.

As several of you have already figured out, there is an open Doodle Poll to determine when is the best day to host our mandatory meeting at the end of this quarter.  Please follow the link in the column on the right under "Meetings".  You have until March 7th to respond to this poll.  The mandatory meeting will go over crucial information such as what to expect on the brigade, required vaccinations, schedule of depositing funds to your Empowered account, state of medicine, state of fundraising, and any other pertinent information that comes up.  This is also a good time to ask all the questions you have about what to expect on the brigade.  Even if you are still only considering going on the brigade, you must attend this meeting.

That brings me to the next important reminder: 
~  The $250 deposit is due at the end of April.  ~
We need this commitment from everyone who is going on the brigade because we use that money to secure our airplane tickets to Honduras.  If you do not have the $250 in your Empowered account by the end of April, you will not have a seat reserved on our flight to Honduras.

Next Wednesday's meeting will be a shorter one because the co-presidents and Dr. Schultheis need that time to go over club funds and accounting records.

If you have any fundraising ideas, please contact us so we can get the ball rolling on that!  For every on campus event we host, we must get OBD's approval the Tuesday before the event is scheduled to take place.

Please forward all questions to our gmail account.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Scrubbed and ready to assist the dentists (Honduras 2013)
Dental Hygiene 2nd year student, Angela, in the background, already hard at work!

Meeting 2/12 1pm-2pm
Members present: Jamie, Noah, Dr. S, Heidi, Grace

Hello, everyone, I hope you are enjoying this long weekend!

The result are in, we raised roughly $165 from the Krispy Kreme Doughnut sale!  Good job, guys! If anyone would like to take on a monthly or bi-weekly sale of doughnuts, please let us know.

We are going to have a mandatory meeting at the end of the winter quarter, which will cover important information about the brigade and remaining fundraising efforts before the trip.  Whether you are planning on going, hoping to go, or are still thinking about it, you must attend this meeting.  We have a Doodle Poll set up so that everyone can vote on when would be the best date/time.

Next Wednesday 2/26 we have another table event in the main quad during College Hour 12pm-1pm.  We need to coordinate having our banners and fliers displayed at the table, so we will be in contact via email regarding that.  Grace has generously offered to make little gift bags to hand out during the event.  Marcella has also graciously volunteered to make us an awesome tri-fold sign displaying photos of past brigades and fundraisers.  Thank you, You Two!

Our next fundraiser will be hosting a face-painting booth at San Francisco's Sunday Streets on the Embarcadero, the second Sunday in March 3/9.  The event itself is from 11am-4pm, and we will be notified of our booth's location a little closer to the event.   We would like to set up carpooling for anyone coming from the south bay/peninsula that would like to split driving and gas money.  Therefore, we have a sign-up sheet that includes volunteering at the event as well as coordinating carpools.  You are not required to participate in a carpool if you do not want to.
I have several questions that I have emailed to our rep for Sunday Street,s such as:
- Does Sunday Streets provide the tables, chairs, and canopy we will need?
- What is the car access like for this event?
- Timing: Do we have to check-in?  What is the best time to arrive?
- Do we carry out our own trash?
 - How many customers should we anticipate serving?
Please let us know if you have any more questions for our rep. or for us, regarding this event.

For those of you who sign up to volunteer at Sunday Streets with us, you should attend our face-painting practice meeting the Friday before, 3/7 from noon-2pm in Rm 5101.  During this meeting, we will practice face-painting technique as well as create our pricing sign ($5 suggested donation) and organizing our equipment.  Also, each volunteer needs to bring in 5 suggestions for girl designs and 5 suggestions for boy designs for us to vote on, as well as one roll of paper towels.  For the face-painting, we plan on using simple, decorative stamps to stamp the outline of the design on the customer's face and then color it in with the brush and paint.  If you do not want to be a face painter, there are other positions you could take on, such as crowd control and being in charge of the cash box.

Here is our shopping list for face-painting supplies.  Please let us know if we are missing anything.
- Order
- Paint (comes with brushes)
- Hypoallergenic stamp pad
- Brushes
- Cups for water
- Jugs with water
- Funnel  (will get from Bio stock room)
        - Makeup glitter

Drew has suggested that around St. Patrick's Day, we sell green-colored treats.  Due to health regulations and campus policies, we can really only sell items that are packaged or created by a certified and insured food distributor.  A couple of ideas of what to sell include green Otter Pops and Caramel Apple Pops. If you have any suggestions for this, please let us know!

We also have now created sponsorship levels for local and big businesses to support our club.  Please see the sponsorship flier for details on what each level provides the donor.  We also have a generic donations request letter that you may copy/paste to another Word document and edit as you see fit.

Thank you, see you later!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Meeting Minutes 2.05.2014

Ridin' in style in the Honduran countryside (2013)
Hey Brigaders,

We are ecstatic about the success of the Donut sale Thursday!  We sold out of all of our 25 DOZEN donuts long before noon! We would like to give a huge shout out and thank you to all of you who came by to help out. Thanks to you guys, we may very well make this a repeat fundraiser.

Leading up to this event, we got a lot of feedback about the clarity of event details in our online communication.  We will try to make the event details clearer for future events.  We really appreciate any and all feedback because it lets us know what is and isn't working for the club.

In other club news, we have made our official budget request to the ASFC for $16,000. We are told that in 2-3 weeks we will find out how much money will be granted to us.

Noah will be in the KCI cafe area tomorrow (Friday 2/7/14) for an unofficial club meeting. Come by if you have any questions, want to hear about last year's brigade, or want an in person update on upcoming club activities.

During the meeting on Wednesday, we talked about upcoming club events: 

This next Wednesday on the 12th from 12-1pm (college hour), we will have a club booth set up at the Valentines day/Health fair in the quad in front of the library. 

The 26th is the community resource fair, and we will also have a booth there at the same time and place. 

March 9th we will have a face-painting booth in San Francisco for the Sunday Streets fair, which will be a very large event. Multiple blocks on the Embarcadero will be blocked off, and it will be a lot of fun. The event is from 11am to 4pm, but we will need to get there considerably earlier to find parking and start setting up.  We have a sign-up sheet on the blog that includes sign-ups for carpooling.  We will have a face-painting practice session during the Friday meeting before the event that Sunday.

Our next flea market is a little ways down the road, but it wouldn't hurt to put it on your calendar. It will be the first Saturday in May.

If you have any other ideas for fundraising that you would like to suggest, please let us know!  We would love it if any one of you would like to manager a project (with our help, of course!).

If we don't see you tomorrow - have a great weekend!