Like many college students, Kelly Fabrizio has a packed calendar. A sophomore at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Fabrizio is taking classes to become a research pharmacist. In addition to her studies, she works at a pharmaceutical company and is also applying for pharmacy technician jobs in Boston.
Although Fabrizio has a lot on her plate, volunteering is a big part of her life in Boston. When she moved from Connecticut to attend college, she made it a priority to give back to her new community. This has included volunteering at a homeless shelter and soup kitchen, and organizing a fundraiser for suicide prevention awareness in honor of her friend. She also participates in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life every year, and works at a food pantry in her hometown. Many of her friends also join her to volunteer their own time.
“It feels great to know you’re making a difference in the community,” she says.
Fabrizio’s volunteering is also about giving back to a community that cared for her mother. While she was still in high school, Fabrizio made 2-hour weekend trips from Burlington, Connecticut to Boston to visit her mother, Deb, who was receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer in 2012 at the Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC).
During her mother’s treatment, Fabrizio saw first-hand how much Dana-Farber patients relied on blood donations from the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center. That’s when Fabrizio began making regular trips to the Kraft Center to give platelets, the blood component that allows wounds to clot and heal. More than a year later, she continues to donate platelets every two weeks. She even brings one of her friends with her, and they do it together.
“This process has made me grateful that I am healthy, but it also feels good knowing that you’re helping people,” she explains.
In addition, Fabrizio has volunteered her time to the Kraft Family Donor Center making donors feel comfortable with snacks and blankets.
“Donating is the easiest way you can help out. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and it could save someone’s life,” she says. “Volunteering also looks great on a résumé.”
Dana-Farber wants to know how college students, like Kelly, give back to their school or community. If you’re a college student, tweet @DanaFarber using #CareOnCampus and share ways in which you give back. You will be entered to win one of two $25 gift cards.