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Valentine’s Day Challenge organizers Sara Ventura (L) and Nicole Richter (R).

Physical Therapy students show a lot of heart

February 10, 2016 — 

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and physical therapy (PT) students in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences are showing they care about women in our community.

The 2016 Valentine’s Day Challenge is a collection drive organized by physical therapy students across the country to collect new, unused toiletries, feminine hygiene products and incontinence supplies for local women’s centres.

For organizers Sara Ventura and Nicole Richter, both PT students in the Faculty of Health Sciences, getting involved in the challenge spoke to their own desire to give back.

“The Women’s Health division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) announced the Valentine’s Day Challenge in hopes of full participation across the country,” Ventura says. “It was only natural that the U of M should partake in the event as well. It is important for physiotherapists to get out into the community and provide services that improve the health and quality of life of others.”

Donations from this year’s challenge will support Osborne House, a natural fit according to Ventura.

“Osborne House was one of the first shelters to open here in Canada,” she says. “It is a place that has remained committed to empowering women and their families who have suffered from domestic abuse by providing them a safe environment of live and to grow.”

Ventura and Richter are hoping that physical therapy students will participate not only because it’s the right thing to do but because it contributes to their futures as health care professionals.

“This is a great opportunity for us to give back to the community,” Richter says. “Our profession entails giving people the tools necessary to help improve their quality of life and it’s important that we encompass that in all aspects of our lives.”

The Valentine’s Day Challenge is open to all. To get involved, please bring donations to the College of Rehabilitation Sciences main office, Room 106, in the School of Medical Rehabilitation Sciences building, 771 McDermot Avenue, by 3:00pm on Thursday, February 11.

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