The spirit of the Holiday Season was in full force with students from the five Athletic Training Education Programs in New Jersey and the ATSNJ Student Committee as they took a break from their grueling academic schedules to help out those less fortunate in their communities. During the month of November, 418 pounds of food were collected by these students and donated to the Community Bank of New Jersey, Wayne (NJ) Food Pantry and Hurricane Maria Relief efforts in Puerto Rico. “The student committee has established the desire to give back to the community on a regular basis.” Said Jess Springsteed, co-chair of the ATSNJ Student Committee. “It’s important for them to understand the passion it takes to be in our profession, and philanthropic endeavors is an excellent way to impart this quality. They have worked hard in putting these events together and their efforts should be applauded.”
The Student Committee wasn’t finished there. They followed up their food drive with a toy drive for children and less fortunate families. The toy drive, which finished up just before Christmas, saw a large number of donations from all five programs. Rowan University participated in Toys for Tots through Lenny’s Shoe Repair Shop, Seton Hall University collected $300 for Adopt-A-Family which gave each child approximately 10-15 presents and Montclair State University participated in the Toys for Tots Marine Foundation. Also contributing to the group effort was Kean University who donated 158 gifts to St. Paul’s Calvary Church in Union, NJ and participated in a party with the shelter wrapping those gifts that were collected and William Paterson University showed a great philanthropic effort by donating to one of the school’s athletic training preceptors (clinical instructor) who was currently undergoing cancer treatments. "Being co-chair along with Jessica Springstead for the ATSNJ Student Committee has been an amazing opportunity.” States Natalie Spissell, co-chair of the ATSNJ Student Committee. “Students on the committee have played an instrumental role in designing the layout for the student seminar in February, and have also represented Athletic Training students in New Jersey. It is important that students realize the impact that we have as athletic trainers, and that our job is 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Our ability and desire to care for others is never turned off, and this means that we must step up when it is required of us. This was reflected by the actions of our students this holiday season who participated in collecting food and toys for families in need. I’m very proud of the students in our committee, and of all the students in the state of New Jersey, for representing the values of the Athletic Training program."
The ATSNJ would like to commend and congratulate the efforts of the Student Committee in their efforts during this time of need. Their selflessness has value way beyond the classroom and shows that the athletic training profession spans well past its perceived borders. Their hard work, dedication and philanthropic efforts are to be admired as they work their way towards becoming athletic trainers.</p>