Infant Mortality Ambassadors are MomsFirst volunteers that choose to get involved and work toward the mission of reducing the racial disparity in infant mortality in Cleveland. Their involvement can take on many forms. We have had volunteers choose to write letters of support to our participants, come to our office and spend the day volunteering on a specific project, or share safe sleep education with their church congregation. Alexis Davis, a 2nd year medical student at Case Western Reserve University and the first in her family to graduate from college, took on a different approach. Motivated by her desire to help people from backgrounds similar to her own, but who may be lacking the access to opportunity and support that she had, Alexis decided to start an awareness campaign and coin drive at CWRU’s School of Medicine.
Alexis graduated from Cornell University in 2015. Alexis says that she learned early on that being poor and/or a minority in America often means receiving lower quality medical care, and even as a child, she saw injustice in this. This belief has stuck with her and continues to drive her dedication to serving disadvantaged communities. Alexis indicated that the mission of MomsFirst spoke to her because our work lies at the intersection of many of the issues that she and her family have faced as people of color in America.
Alexis was very active and persistent with getting the word out about the fundraiser. It was important to her to be concise while still conveying the importance of the issue and the work that MomsFirst is doing. She reached out to all of her networks to share the fundraiser. Her efforts paid off—and then some! After the one month campaign concluded, Alexis raised $1642.88 for MomsFirst. In addition, as a result of the awareness campaign, an additional student volunteer has reached out to find out ways that she can be involved.
Does this inspiring story motivate you to help your community? Alexis suggests taking some time to reflect on what issues are important to you and also what skills you have that can help others. Then, research what local organizations are looking for help. Alexis says, “Everyone can be of service to their community in some way; whether it is through donating time or money”.
MomsFirst is incredibly grateful to Alexis for being the change! Our staff and participants thank you!