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Labrador City student campaigns and collects gifts for Dominican Republic hospital

Maggie Drover will present gifts in person this Christmas


Last summer, high school student Maggie Drover of Labrador City was chosen to be part of the Gap Med program.

It’s designed for students who are thinking of embarking on a career in medicine. She spent several weeks in a hospital in La Romana, Dominican Republic where she was able to be alongside nurses and doctors, assisting where she could and getting a sense of what it takes to work in a hospital environment.

“I did lots of different things,” Drover told The Aurora. "Attending the birth of a baby was one of the most incredible experiences since I got to help with the baby and hold it afterward.”

Drover noted the hospital was in need of certain items for the babies and in other areas. That sparked an idea.

“I wanted to do more for the people I worked with last summer, so I decided to set up a Facebook page and asked people to donate for premature and newborn babies,” she said. “It didn’t take long for the donations to start coming in. Lots of people in Labrador West gave many things to me, and the donations continued to keep coming in throughout the fall.”

Drover said at one point she was on a trip to Happy Valley-Goose Bay and people there gave her items. She even received a big package from someone in Baie Verte.

The items collected included receiving blankets, hats, mitts and other items.

“In all we collected enough to fill four duffel bags,” she said.

As most people know the cost of taking bags on a plane — especially large ones — can be very expensive, in her case Air Canada allowed her to take the four cases for free, using a humanitarian program they have in place.

Maggie says she recently did a presentation at JRS Middle School. She enjoyed a great reception and the students told her they realize that people can make a difference when they put their mind to it.

Maggie and her parents leave Dec. 24 for Puerto Plata. While there, she and her father will drive to La Romana, to visit the hospital and drop off the gifts. Drover has been in touch with her mentor and they look forward to meeting up once again.

For Maggie Drover this will be a very special Christmas for her and her family as it’s her last year of high school, and she heads off to university next year, and of course following a career in the medical field.

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