As an assignment in the Professional Issues Class instructed by Mary Beth Dillon, OTD, assistant professor of OT, students were split into four groups. Each group was to come up with an activity or event that could promote OT as a profession and give back to the community at the same time.
At St. Catherine’s Manor
, one group of students hosted a fall harvest party and engaged in crafts with the residents while promoting OT.
“It became our goal to provide an expansion of opportunities for the residents through engagement of various activities,” said Lauren Meisner, senior OT student. “Throughout the day it became very easy to interact and communicate with the residents we were serving.”
The other three groups participated in the One Matters
event at St. Mark’s Church.
“The One Matters event is to help individuals in the lower socioeconomic status get supplies and resources that they need,” said Holly Maxwell, senior OT student. “This was my second year volunteering at the One Matters event. Each year, I am able to help and touch many lives.”
Services provided were haircuts, flu shots, blood pressure checks, auto maintenance, dental checks, résumé help and more. UF’s students helped at St. Mark’s Church to supply participants with items.
“One group held a clothing drive and collected 800 pieces of clothing to give away. Another group helped with child care and made crafts with the kids at the event,” said Dillon. “A group went to Birchaven Retirement Village
to make cookies with the residents and then gave them away at the One Matters event.”
Through the OT Global Day of Service, UF students practiced leadership skills and applied what they have learned in the classroom all while serving the community.
“I strongly recommend all OT students to participate in the future,” said Meisner. “Doing so will contribute to developing as an occupational therapist and promote our profession in a positive manner.”