Upstate second-year medical student Julie Pillettere and her MS II classmates are continuing the successful “Helping Hands for Forgotten Feet” program at Syracuse’s Rescue Mission, begun by MS IIIs Matt Helm and Stefanos Haddad.
Last year the Helping Hands program was awarded a $9,000 grant from Alpha Omega Alpha, a national medical honor society with chapters at 120 medical schools.
“We have a group of fourth-year Alpha Omega Alpha members who help us at the clinic, as well as second-year and first-year student volunteers,” Julie said. “We are always excited and open to new student volunteers!”
The students assist during monthly foot clinics at the Rescue Mission, and collect gently used shoes and other items for clients served by the not-for-profit organization on Gifford Street.
“The Helping Hands for Forgotten Feet clinic is not only an amazing way for students to get involved in the Syracuse area and hone their clinical skills, but also an avenue to provide a unique type of care to members of the community,” Julie said. “We use our feet constantly, and pain or discomfort can really affect activities of daily living and quality of life.”
Julie, a Rochester native who graduated from Cornell University with a degree in nutritional sciences, volunteered at the clinics this past year and helped collect shoes and new socks at Upstate’s Think Green Fair May 22. Fair attendees donated several dozen pairs of shoes and new socks, which will be delivered to the Rescue Mission.
The Upstate community will have another chance to donate shoes and socks in October, during the month-long “Helping Hands” shoe drive throughout campus.