How the Chester Community Clinic Used Social Media for Social Change

By Brenna Hagan '21 Communication Studies
Cell phone shows fitness challenge with weights in background
Graduate physical and occupational therapy students led one-minute exercises online daily to raise funds and awareness for organizations fighting injustice.

This past June marked a nationwide series of rallies and protests in the United States. Individuals across the globe fought, and continue to fight, to raise awareness for racial and social injustices, and the prevalent need for systematic reform.

Leaders at Widener’s pro-bono Chester Community Clinic decided to show their support in the nationwide fight against racism and injustice through a social media fitness donation challenge. The funds collected from the month-long challenge, lasting until mid-July, were earmarked for organizations in Chester, surrounding Delaware County communities, and elsewhere that were using their voices to speak out against injustices.

“We were absolutely blown away by the response and support from the Facebook page. It was nice to see so many people willing to support the cause, said Kristina Taguwa, a second-year physical therapy, or PT, graduate student and the fundraising chair.

According to Taguwa, who also serves as the PT fundraising chair for the Chester Community Clinic, the social media challenge was an instant success, hitting almost 200 Facebook members within the first 24 hours of the challenge going live.

The challenge was a triumph for the clinic, bringing in over $1,678 which was then donated to social justice nonprofit organizations like CityTeam, Black Lives Matter, and  BET’s “Saving Our Selves”: Covid-19 Relief Effort.

We wanted to give back both directly to the Chester community, as well as other struggling communities. Organizations like BET’s Covid-19 relief efforts give back to Black communities which have been disproportionately affected by the virus. Kristina Taguwa

Participants who completed the fitness challenge via the Chester Community Clinic Facebook page tallied in for over $500 of the total funds, with the other half coming from private donations from students, faculty, friends, and family.

The social media fitness challenge is one of the many ways Widener University has given back to the Chester community during the myriad of struggles caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taguwa encourages other Widener clubs and departments to give back to the community during the time when they need it the most. Her advice? Break down barriers and work as a team.

“The challenge would not have been possible without teamwork. Our faculty, classmates, the board, our director, everyone who donated and participated made it happen,” Taguwa said.

Learn About the Chester Community Clinic

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