Students in the Occupational Therapy department are holding a food drive to assist a local organization called The Bethlehem House.
The Student Caucus on Diversity in Occupational Therapy, (SCDOT) is the organization holding the drive.
SCDOT’s main objective is to promote and support diverse students to be successful in their pursuit of occupational therapy as a professional career.
They are advocates for underrepresented occupational therapy student groups in hopes of promoting and enhancing their contributions to occupational therapy at local, regional, and national levels.
SCDOT encourages its members to broaden their horizons and have diverse experiences of their own.
The group is also working with Phi Theta Epsilon and the Student Occupational Therapy Association in the food drive event.
Donation bins will be placed in the lobby of the Doyne Health Sciences Center and at the information desk in the student center from April 14th – 25.
The Bethlehem House offers programs aimed at assisting people during many hardships in order to prepare them for social responsibilities.
The mission statement from the Bethlehem House directly states; “Bethlehem House seeks to encourage, equip, and motivate homeless individuals and families to take the necessary steps to change their life situations.”
Its web page explains that Bethlehem House offer aid with employment, life skills, advocacy, education, counseling, transportation, love, guidance, and support recovering from devastation due to homelessness.
The Bethlehem House allows temporary housing to those in need, and their time of stay is determined by their assistance needs.
The temporary residence as well as anyone seeking help from The Bethlehem House must remain substance free in order to remain in the programs.
They also have residents attend AA meetings if it pertains to their situation.
The program works around Judeo-Christian values.
Kaitlin McFarland, graduate student from the occupational therapy program and member of Phi Theta Epsilon, Student Occupational Therapy Association, and SCDOT, said that The Bethlehem House’s pantry is low and has not been able to give away food boxes.
“These food drives are vital” she said. “I feel great to be able to give back to a program that does so much for its residents and the Conway community. For me to be a part of programs that are willing to do something to help such a wonderful program validates the fact that I am where I’m supposed to be educationally.”
Kirby Samson, graduate student from the occupational therapy program and member of SCDOT, said that conducting the campus wide food drive may help get The Bethlehem House back on their feet.
“We would like to reach out to our UCA community to help such a worthy organization and raise awareness for the services they offer,” he said. “It’s all the more better when we can exhaust our resources to help such a population.”
As well as refilling the food pantry there are other ways to assist with the program.
Individuals may become prayer partners, which involves praying with and for the people involved in the program.
There is an “Adopt-A-Meal” program where participants can bring food to the shelter for 45 to 55 people where it will be served at 6 p.m. in an open soup kitchen.
There is also a yard sale option in which proceeds go to purchasing supplies for the residents.
There are also fundraisers that can be applied for and suggested to The Bethlehem House through their e-mail at [email protected] com.