March 28, 2012
Kansas City, MO – The devastating tornado that ripped apart Joplin, Mo. in May of 2011 was the inspiration behind social work professor Lindee Petersen Wilson’s new class, entitled “Crisis Intervention in the Community.”
And, in a move befitting such a practical, real-world course, Wilson, BSW, MSW, LCSW, LSCSW, gave her students the choice of writing a research paper or complete a project related to crisis intervention. Fifteen out her 18 students chose the project.
So Wilson’s students assembled up to a dozen “hygiene packs” – care kits consisting of such essentials as hand towels, combs, toothbrushes, soap and bandages – that they then donated to Heart to Heart International, a world-wide organization with a stated goal of transforming lives through service.
“The class looked at how communities respond in a crisis,” Wilson said. “The students invested a lot in it.”
Wilson said one box of 10 hygiene packs typically costs a student $100-$150 to put together.
Earlier in the semester, the students listened to speakers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Red Cross and Heart to Heart.
“I think we all learned a lot about disaster preparedness,” she said.
One social work student, sophomore Lindsy Samborski, presented the project to her church, John Knox Presbyterian Kirk, and it got involved in buying and building hygiene packs as well.
“I’m going to try to do more of this kind of thing there this summer,” Samborski said. “It’s definitely worth it, just for what it does for people.”
Samborski said she thoroughly enjoyed the crisis intervention class.
“This is not something you think about when you think of social work … the community aspect of things,” she said. “Stuff like this gives me a way of helping without getting in the way. It definitely made me think about what I want to do in social work as far as working in the community.”
Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.