Members of the Maryville University Student Occupational Therapy Association spent part of their spring break giving back, dropping off a donation of “blessing bags” for the Places for People Welcome Center.
The bags include easy to carry necessities such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, and a pair of new socks. The group also collected food to be donated to Peter & Paul Community Services.
MUSOTA pursued this service opportunity after a recent presentation to the group by Places for People’s Tim McKay. McKay, a licensed OT who is also an adjunct professor at Maryville University, told MUSOTA members about the work performed at Places for People and the important role occupational therapy plays for people living with mental illness and substance use disorders. McKay said the group had an interest in how Places for People connects with persons served who are homeless or unstably housed.
“It hit home how much need there is for this population,” said MUSOTA Vice President Sara Long.
MUSOTA member Ashley Elliott said McKay’s presentation was an “eye opening” experience for her.
On Thursday, when four group members dropped off the donation, Places for People Welcome Center Director Kim Warden thanked them and told them more about the services available at the Welcome Center, and how their donation will help.
McKay also spoke to the students and expressed his gratitude for the donation.
“I was very impressed by the commitment of these students from MUSOTA to take time out of their busy class schedules to make these bags,” McKay said. “It is great to have that desire to give back to the community and we at Places for People are lucky to have a relationship with the OT department at Maryville University.”
The Welcome Center is the first step in beginning services at Places for People. Anyone can walk in between 8:30-11 a.m., Monday through Friday, or schedule an appointment by calling 314-615-2111. Even if someone does not enter into services at Places for People after their initial visit, the Welcome Center can help address immediate needs by offering referrals to other providers in the community, provide a shower, food, and now, thanks for the members of MUSOTA, these blessing bags.
If you would like to learn more about making an in-kind donation to Places for People, please visit our Wish List page.
MUSOTA is an organization for all Maryville University occupational therapy students. The organization provides opportunities to build relationships, get involved in the community, participate in fun activities, and advocate for the profession.