Health Careers Students Donate 1,200 Articles of Clothing to Crisis Center

CV Tech Health Careers student Samantha Aragon, also a Minco High School senior, delivers a bag of clothing to the Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network (ICAN), located in El Reno. She and dozens of classmates collected the clothing for men, women and children who are victims of violence in their homes.

December 9, 2016

 EL RENO – Toughness has many meanings.

Tough people are attractive. Respected. Far too often, however, toughness crosses a line.

One in three women, and one in four men are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner, according to information provided by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

On average, roughly 20 people each minute are physically abused. That amounts to more than 10 million in a calendar year.

Victims who flee physical violence often leave everything behind in search of a fresh start, said Angela Siegrist, who is a Health Careers instructor at Canadian Valley Technology Center’s Cowan Campus near Yukon.

Siegrist and a few dozen of her students decided to help those who escape violent homes. During the months of October and November, they collected clothing for redistribution to victims of violence.

Recently, the students delivered more than 1,200 articles of clothing for people of all ages.

Each time more clothing arrived, students washed it and then neatly folded it. The clothes were divided and bagged according to size.

Not much of the donated clothing is new, but the CV Tech students have a fresh understanding of how rags become riches in the hands of victims who have something to symbolically cover their pain and hurt, if even for a short time.

“I’ve been wanting to do this for years,” said Siegrist. “I am so proud of our students who wanted so badly to give up things for others.”

 The clothing was donated to the newly named Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network (ICAN), located in El Reno. Formerly, it was the Women’s Service and Family Resource Center.

ICAN staff shared the startling violence statistics with the students after receiving the clothing.

“Listening to the news that we’re fourth highest for domestic violence in the nation, is just heartbreaking,” Siegrist said. “You wonder how many of the abused are killed.”

Oklahoma consistently ranks among the top 10 nationwide in terms of intimate partner homicides annually, according to information prepared by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office on behalf of the Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board.

Siegrist said the ICAN staff also warned the students about escalating teen dating violence.

“A lot of these kids haven’t had a lot of dating experience,” she said. “It’s eye-opening for our students to see what can happen to them or possibly inside the house next door. They’ll be better prepared to help themselves or others who face similar situations.”