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ADA – With a compassionate eye always trained on the community, students in East Central University’s Social Work program have delivered comfort to those in need.

ECU’s Social Work Student Association (SWSA) raised money with the assistance of Norma’s Restaurant in Pauls Valley to purchase and hand-deliver 25 comfortable blankets to local kidney dialysis patients.

“We are all so proud of our students,” said Amy Ward, DSW, director of ECU’s Social Work program. “A lot of times their learning process occurs off campus, where they encounter actual patients in challenging situations. They never hesitate to step forward and help out and that is an excellent indicator of what kind of professionals ECU is helping to prepare for the future.”

The SWSA endeavors to provide community outreach every semester to those in need and to agencies that have social workers on staff. This particular semester, Social Work students reached out to a local dialysis center by providing new blankets to patients undergoing the treatment.

Through SWSA’s coordination efforts, Norma’s Restaurant donated proceeds from the sales of its desserts to help purchase the blankets. Students also took the time to write encouraging notes to patients to include with each blanket.

“This is the kind of community engagement that prepares our Social Work students for their careers after graduation,” Ward said. “This real-world application of the concepts and practices they are learning in the classroom is invaluable.”

Cutline: Jessica Shores, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (in scrubs) and Raven James, an ECU Social Work student, prepare to deliver blankets to local dialysis patients.


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