CSUF ATEP Gives Back with a Blanket and Food Drive
As winter arrives and the temperature drops, warmth becomes a basic necessity for those less fortunate who may be without a home, a bed, or even a blanket. For the past twelve years, the Cal State University Fullerton – Athletic Training Education Program has donated thousands of warm blankets to the needy of southern California. Most recently the blankets have been donated to the Orange County Rescue Mission, but previous recipients have included those on “Skid Row” in downtown Los Angeles. “Each year the Titan ATEP Blanket Drive acts as a reminder to be thankful for what we have and to appreciate our many great blessings. Despite long hours and busy schedules there are always opportunities to make small sacrifices to help better someone else’s life” said Micah Ohlen, graduating AT student.
This tradition began in 2002, by a Titan alumnus who later on, ironically found himself homeless for a short period of time, living in his car for several months. Originally, all the donated blankets were hand-delivered by the ATEP students and faculty, to skid row in Los Angeles. After a few incidents the Fullerton ATEP leadership turned their efforts closer to home in Orange County. After searching for a high-quality charity, the OC Rescue Mission became the charity of chose. In the early years, the number of blankets delivered each year would average about 50-75 blankets, however, more recently, this number has grown to 250+ blankets each year. On December 20, 2013 a few of the ATEP students and faculty successfully stuffed over 250 blankets in to a single SUV, which were delivered to the excited folks at the OC Rescue Mission.
With the goal of always trying to improve, this past November the Titan ATEP added a Canned Food Drive to their charitable activities. In a collective effort, CSUF students and faculty, especially those in Kinesiology, Health Science, and Athletic Training, donated over 230 pounds of canned food for the needy. The Second Harvest Food Bank in Irvine, California gratefully welcomed the donations the day before Thanksgiving. Spearheading this effort was AT student – Kirsten Marony, who also made the delivery. This was a great “last minute effort” and we can only imagine how many more mouths we can feed by starting sooner next year.
It has been special to see the abundant support and contributions accomplished by the Titan family at CSUF. Donating both the canned goods and blankets to all of the wonderful people in need is an honor for those associated with the Titan Athletic Training family. The Cal State Fullerton ATEP plans to continue this successful tradition for many years to come and helping more and more individuals. The plan for spring involves the usual support for the Donate Life Run – Walk and Family Festival on April 26, 2014, but also will include another canned food drive.
Courtesy of Micah Ohlen