Cleveland State University’s Golden Z Club had its first volunteer event at MedWish International on East 31st Street on Feb. 15 to sort and pack donated medical supplies to ship to people in need around the world.
The Golden Z Club, new to Cleveland State this semester, is an affiliate of the Zonta Club of Cleveland, one of Zonta International’s 1,200 clubs focused on empowering women through service and advocacy. The name “Zonta” comes from a Native-American word for honest and trustworthy.
The Golden Z Club joined with members of its Cleveland affiliate to blend service and networking for its first volunteer event. One participant was Sarojini Rao who has been with the Zonta Club of Cleveland for 24 years.
“This is one of our volunteer projects that has an international aspect to it,” Rao said. “We are a global organization in 60 different countries, so we like to do both an international [service project] and our local service project with the Renee Jones Empowerment Center.”
The Renee Jones Empowerment Center, based in Cleveland, works with survivors of sex trafficking and sexual assault.
Golden Z Club president Sandra Haswani said she has a broader mission for Golden Z than the international organization’s purpose of advancing women’s rights and giving women the resources and support to reach their full potential.
“Our mission is to inform students and raise their awareness about the different types of inequalities that are there,” said Haswani, 21, “including health disparities, gender inequality, women’s inequality and all that— so that they’ll be able to connect more with their community and be able to serve them in a better way.”
Vice president of the Golden Z Club, Sara Assaf, echoed Haswani’s stance on the larger issue of inequality, and said that racial, socioeconomic and gender inequality are all of equal importance to The Golden Z Club.
“We just wanted to give students an opportunity to volunteer within the community and expand our horizons,” said Assaf, 21. “This is nice way to make a difference.”
MedWish International, with the help of volunteers like The Golden Z Club, has been collecting and distributing medical surplus here in Cleveland to provide humanitarian aid to people in need all over the world for 25 years.