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SSIG Partners with Cradles to Crayons to help benefit local children

Friday, September 20, 2019   (0 Comments)
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SSIG Partners with Cradles to Crayons to help benefit local children

IL Students PTDOS 2019

By: Dena Kontos, SPT ‘21, Northwestern University; Melina Clark, SPT'20, Midwestern University; and Aayush Shah, SPT'20, Northwestern University

The physical therapy profession is about giving back. We help change and transform patient lives in the clinic and many of the other settings in which we practice.However, it doesn’t have to stop there.

This year’s Global PT Day of Service (PTDOS) will take place on Saturday, October 12th. This event is held annually on a Saturday in conjunction with October being National Physical Therapy Month. The main goal of PTDOS is to encourage members of the PT community to join forces in support of outside causes. It is a day for our profession to give back to the community, beyond the walls of our practices. It’s a day for our profession to help others in a different way. Whether it be through a bake sale, park clean up, or donation drive. Often, projects range throughout the entire month of October, so be on the lookout for upcoming projects and events that you can be a part of!

Last year, the IPTA Student Special Interest Group participated in a state-wide PTDOS initiative to raise donations for Cradles to Crayons, a non profit organization that provides school supplies, hygiene products, and clothing to children in underserved communities of the Chicagoland area. The 2018 initiative was extremely successful. Through the donations from many Illinois PT and PTA programs we collected over 700 items for children in need.

Last year, the Midwestern University DPT program turned the donation drive into a competition between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year students. “Our students and faculty had a great time competing for first place in the donation drive, and I hope that other schools can do the same to increase participation" said Melina Clark, who is a 3rd year student at Midwestern University and is currently serving as the Student Mentor to the SSIG Exec Committee. This project hits extremely close to home for our current SSIG Vice President Aayush Shah, SPT who in 2018 approached the SSIG leadership board about partnering with Cradles to Crayons in the first place. “As the son of immigrants, I had actually received my first winter jacket as a 9 year old (being new to the winters in America) through a similar organization.” said Shah. “Therefore, I had hopes of passing on that form of generosity to the next child in need. Last year’s donation drive was particularly meaningful for me because it allowed me the opportunity to have the profession which I admire work in conjunction with an organization that helps those in need!”

With many of our student members finding that participating in PTDOS is rewarding in more ways than one, this year’s SSIG is encouraging students to get involved in any way they can. “Whether you participate in a donation drive or a park clean up effort, your service adds value to our profession.” Clark said.

The IPTA SSIG will once again partner with Cradles for Crayons for PTDOS 2019, with the hopes of surpassing last years donation total and involving an even greater number of schools and clinics.

Be on the lookout for an email on how you can support our PTDOS service project. To find out how you can help, contact Aayush Shah, SPT, SSIG Vice President at or any of your current SSIG leadership.

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