East Carolina University
 
College of Allied Health Sciences
Student Occupational Therapy Association


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The ECU Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA)

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SOTA COMMUNITY SERVICE AND EVENTS
 

SOTA members walk for ALS

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On Saturday, April 6, 2013, SOTA members participated in the Greenville Down East ALS Walk, a fundraiser for the Jim Catfish Hunter Chapter of the ALS Association. We walked as part of Ken's Krew, a team founded by Dr. Denise Donica (not pictured) in honor of a friend with ALS.

 

Other 2012-2013 SOTA Community Service Projects

  • Planning and carrying out a winter party at the Boys & Girls Club in Ayden
  • Participating in Adopt-A-Grandparent at a local assisted living center
  • Providing child care at the monthly Asperger's Support Group
  • Donating to the Salvation Army Angel Tree program
  • Volunteering at Adapted Recreation Day
  • Assisting with a CarFit event for older adults to check how well their car fit them
  • Running a table at the Autism Walk
  • Participating in the ALS walk and Relay for Life
  • Creating gift baskets for the College of Allied Health custodial staff
  • Collecting toiletry items for family members of patients in Vidant Health Medical Center
  • Cleaning the kitchen and apartment areas within our department

EVENTS

  • SOTA Halloween Social
  • Halloween Bake Sale – annual fundraiser with proceeds going to SOTA
  • Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner
  • Sign Language Educational Event – sign language specialist and school psychologist coming to teach us a few signs
  • Intramural Sports – women's and co-rec flag football, wiffleball, and volleyball teams
  • AOTA Student Conclave in Louisville, KY – OT student-only conference
  • Snack Sale – proceeds going to SOTA and funding for sending students to national conference
  • Pet Therapy Educational Event – learning about pet therapy and meeting some pet therapy animals
  • Self Defense Class – learning basic self-defense and defensive stances
  • Fall Fest – picnic and games at the start of the school year
  • Spring Cookout – cookout and games at the end of the school year
  • Game Nights – various game nights held throughout the year
  • Bowling – held throughout the year
  • AOTA Conferences – annual OT national conference held in various places throughout the US; GPSS representative goes along with any other interested students

SOTA is an organization focused on promoting knowledge and interest in the field of occupational therapy and serving the community through occupation-based volunteer experiences.  SOTA raises funds to generate money into volunteer experiences including cooking meals for the Ronald McDonald House and leading interactive patient groups at the Hope Lodge.  SOTA members volunteer at Operation Sunshine and Tar River Manor, generating exciting activities for individuals to complete within their capabilities.  We have also created Christmas care packages for Operation Christmas Child during the holiday months for underprivileged children in Greenville, North Carolina. SOTA continues to be involved with Greenville's Hope Lodge – leading fun sessions with cancer patients staying at this facility while receiving treatment at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

SOTA benefits the general ECU population by stimulating interest in occupational therapy as a post-baccalaureate allied health major.  SOTA members lead Occupational Therapy Question and Answer sessions during the departmental Open House sessions many times.  SOTA represents the university well through its philanthropy within the Greenville community and beyond.  SOTA also represents ECU at the national American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) conference by networking and bringing back valuable information related to advances in the profession and new ways to share the value of occupational therapy with prospective students and members of the community at large. 

As mentioned, SOTA raises funds to purchase supplies needed to lead community groups at Hope Lodge and Tar River Manor.  Most of these supplies include craft materials such as paper, markers, flower pots, paints, etc.  Monies raised are also used to purchase groceries to cook meals for Ronald McDonald House.  SOTA does not use its funds for social events but does provide pizza at one meeting per semester for members in attendance as an incentive for all of their hard efforts.  This year SOTA has raised about $291.00 through jewelry sales, bake sales, and raffles for Valentines baskets.  Funds spent thus far include $98.00 for the service committee, $39.00 for fundraising committee, and $40.00 for the education committee (further breakdown of funds spent are located later in this packet). 

SOTA members also have the opportunity to expand their professional knowledge and develop new interests through the education committee.  During the 2009-2010 academic year, SOTA was able to hold sessions on Pet Therapy, Sensory Processing Disorder awareness, self-defense tactics, Tai Chi classes, and Massage therapy for its members.  SOTA also provides resource notebooks that are readily available for students to look up information related to job postings, fieldwork placement, current research and new OT equipment or adaptive devices.

SOTA is a great way for students within this program to reach out to other prospective allied health students and members of the community interested in learning more about occupational therapy.  We strive to continue to find new ways to promote the profession through recruitment and volunteer opportunities.