Hearts for the Homeless logo

Blood Pressure Checks for the Homeless

by Logan Tolsma, Public Relations Intern

Cedarville University molecular biology major David Gibbs wanted to serve the homeless and underserved, and while serving at a soup kitchen or handing out blankets are extremely viable ways to care, he wanted to use his vocational training and passion. So in August, Gibbs began providing blood pressure checks in inner-city Dayton.

Every Saturday, Gibbs and his Hearts for the Homeless team visit Target Dayton Ministries in inner-city Dayton, a church and ministry to the poor, and set up a booth to provide blood pressure screenings. While checking clients’ blood pressure, Gibbs and his fellow volunteers educate them about the dangers of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, which the homeless and underserved are at a greater risk to experience.

Hearts for the Homeless has provided blood pressure screenings for approximately 105 people since its start in August 2019. The team currently has 10 volunteers but are actively recruiting more to increase their effectiveness. Gibbs is a pre-med track molecular biology major who has been accepted to medical school at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, Texas. Hearts for the Homeless is open to any major.

— David Gibbs

As Cedarville students provide blood pressure screenings week after week, they have developed relationships with those they serve, which has opened doors to discuss big-picture topics like faith and God.

“The reputation of Cedarville enabled us to work with our partner Target Dayton Ministries,” explained Gibbs. “And now, we have the opportunity to serve people who have a tremendous level of need and share the hope we have in Christ.”

Cedarville’s student government association and various other organizations have supported Hearts for the Homeless and sent their members to help.

“The Cedarville community has really come around this effort to care for those who wouldn’t normally receive regular healthcare-type services, even something basic like a blood pressure screening,” Gibbs said. “This simple act of caring is making a big difference.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology program, strong graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.