News » SMHS Paint Murals, Bag Meals on Community Service Day

SMHS Paint Murals, Bag Meals on Community Service Day

WASHINGTON (August 21, 2012) – On Thursday, August 23, students at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Science (SMHS) will put down their books and study materials to help those in need at this year’s Commitment to Community Day. Hundreds of faculty, students, residents, staff, and alumni will spend the day painting murals for clinics affiliated with Operation Smile and preparing 100,000 bagged meals through the Kids Against Hunger DC Metro.

“This annual day of service reaffirms our mission to improve the world around us,” said Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D., interim vice president for health affairs and dean of SMHS. “The murals will provide a warm and welcoming environment for the children as they meet their physicians and have surgeries to fix their smiles that will help them lead more confident lives. The meals will provide hope for families who are suffering from malnutrition and starvation. The experiences of this day will be the beginning of a great journey of giving back to the community.”

Groups will meet at the Charles E. Smith Center in Foggy Bottom at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. for orientation, after which part of the group will paint murals at clinics affiliated with Operation Smile, an international children's medical charity that provides free cleft lip and cleft palate repair surgeries to children worldwide and assists countries in building long-term self-sufficiency with these surgeries.

Another part of the group will work with Kids Against Hunger DC Metro to package 100,000 meals to distribute to local community kitchens in the Washington, D.C. area and to Haiti. This part of the event was organized in partnership with Groupon Grassroots, the philanthropic arm of Groupon. To raise money for the event, Groupon asked subscribers to pledge support with donations in increments of six dollars as part of the Feeding Kids initiative. Each six dollar donation provides 26 nutritious meals. One hundred percent of the Groupon Grassroots campaign proceeds will be used to provide meals to feed hungry kids, both locally and around the world. To donate, visit

Kids Against Hunger's meals have been formulated by food scientists to provide a rich source of easily digestible protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins needed by a malnourished child's body and mind. The meals offer all nine of the essential amino acids required for complete nutrition—something that can't be said about other typical food relief sources such as rice or beans alone. 

“We are excited to employ the collective action model of Groupon Grassroots to raise support for the Feeding Kids Initiative,” said Mink Chawla, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at SMHS and co-founder of Kids Against Hunger DC Metro.  “We look forward to creating new awareness for Kids Against Hunger DC Metroas one of the local organizations in Washington, D.C. to be featured on Groupon Grassroots.”


About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences:

Founded in 1825, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities.

About Operation Smile:

Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is an international children’s medical charity that works in more than 60 countries. More than 5,000 medical volunteers from over 80 countries volunteer with Operation Smile to help improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 2 million healthcare evaluations and conducted over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities, as well as patients suffering from burns. To build long-term self-sufficiency in developing countries, Operation Smile donates medical equipment, provides year-round medical treatment through Comprehensive Care Centers, and trains doctors and local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their own local

About Kids Against Hunger:

Kids Against Hunger’s mission is to significantly reduce the number of hungry children in the United States and to feed starving children throughout the world. Our approach to achieving the eradication of world hunger is the packaging of a highly nutritious, vitamin-fortified rice-soy casserole by volunteers and the distribution of those meals to starving children and their families worldwide.

The Kids Against Hunger’s International Headquarters office is located in New Hope, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis. In 2010, volunteers at more than 80 Kids Against Hunger locations packaged over 40 million vitamin-fortified rice-soy casserole meals for children and their families around the world and around the corner.

About Groupon Grassroots:

Groupon Grassroots, launched in July 2010 in Chicago, features local campaigns in more than 65 markets nationwide, enabling Groupon followers to do good, have fun, and make a real impact in their communities. Groupon Grassroots uses collective action to gather support for worthwhile causes and produce tangible results for local organizations. To learn more about Groupon Grassroots and how to become a featured organization, visit To subscribe to Groupon, visit