UNM freshman starts volunteer group to help at COVID service sites

Education

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A group of University of New Mexico students is stepping up to help people impacted by the pandemic by helping with services and supplies. UNM freshman Cameron Moezzi wants to get into the medical field and started a group called “New Mexico COVID-19 Association,” all in an effort to get his fellow Lobos to volunteer and give frontline workers throughout the community a helping hand in tackling the virus.

“I was working there and I noticed that there were a bunch of medical students and then retired doctors, clinicians and that type of thing, and it seemed like they lacked undergraduates,” said Moezzi. He started the student-run group back in February.

There are about 15 student members so far, but he’s optimistic that number will grow. The group volunteers a couple of times a week, primarily as greeters and data collectors at vaccination sites and hotels that are sheltering the homeless during the pandemic.

He said he finds out about COVID-19 sites in need of volunteers from a mentor who’s a local pharmacist in town. Moezzi also said the group helps deliver vaccination supplies. He believes this is the time for Lobos to step up, especially since all their classes are online.  

“It was an opportunity for all undergraduates because we’re basically in our dorms all day, the city’s in lock down,” said Moezzi. “Help was needed so I thought it would be good to get other students involved and the more help the better.” 

He said once the pandemic is over, he hopes to continue the group with a focus on volunteering at senior centers, food pantries, and other places in need. Those who would like to get involved can email Moezzi at cmoezzi@unm.edu.

KRQE did reach out to the state’s health department to find out about its need for volunteers at vaccination sites. But KRQE did not hear back. The state has said its five food banks and hundreds of food pantries are in desperate need of healthy volunteers during the pandemic.

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