23
October
2015
|
21:30
America/Tegucigalpa

Dentistry students sock it to poverty

Sock fight raises more than 500 pairs of socks to donate to Edmonton’s Boyle McCauley Health Centre.

By TARWINDER RAI

Just over 100 students, faculty and staff from the University of Alberta’s School of Dentistry took part in a sock-flinging battle royale Oct. 22, in what is fast becoming an annual tradition.

The School of Dentistry collected 510 pairs of socks to donate to the Boyle McCauley Health Centre in support of the Student Health Initiative for the Needs of Edmonton (SHINE) operated out of the centre’s dental clinic.

SHINE is a student-run clinic in the inner city providing free dental care every Saturday to anyone who needs it. The team consists of students from each of the four years of the dentistry program and a preceptor. The preceptor is a licensed dentist from the community who volunteers their time.

“Last year, after hearing a call out on the radio for donations of socks, dental students involved with SHINE decided to have a sock drive to help out those in need in our community,” says Sherri Kessels, academic teaching services team lead and organizer of this year’s event. “We wanted to do the sock drive again and we decided to incorporate a sock fight into the initiative this time. We also invited the entire department to participate.”

Third-year dental student Lindsay Orsen, co-chair of the SHINE program, says having students participate in the sock fight is a great way to build community and alleviate distress, all at the same time.

“The socks provide us with something to give out to our patients as well,” says Orsen. “But the main reason for collecting the socks is to raise awareness of the dental needs of inner-city residents.”

Along with the socks, the school will also be donating a variety of children’s winter accessories.