Five Ways To Give Back at Convention

May 2, 2024 by Beth Sitzler
75 things to know about convention! Five ways to give back at convention

The 75th NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo, June 25-28 in New Orleans, is approaching – and registration is open. As we get ready for convention, NATA Now is looking back at convention history as well as what to know about NATA 2024.

While attending NATA 2024 is your time to learn, network and grow as a professional, it’s also an opportunity to give back and support the association and the local community in which the convention is located.

Here are five ways you can give back while at NATA 2024.


1. Volunteer at Convention

Volunteers play an essential role in the NATA convention. From packing registration bags to manning the Career Center, there are a variety of roles a volunteer can fill during NATA 2024. Volunteering is also a great way to save on costs, as volunteers who work 10 or more hours are reimbursed a portion of their registration fee.

While saving on the cost of registration is a major incentive, there are several other benefits to volunteering, including meeting new people, growing your network and getting a behind-the-scenes look at convention.

“Initially, it was the fact that I got reimbursed,” Sue Hannon, MS, ATC, CSCS, said about why she started volunteering at the NATA convention. “I was working at a place where I didn’t get a lot of continuing-ed money, and the majority of the costs were coming out of my own pocket.

“What I developed over the years was really the opportunity to network and meet people. … It’s an opportunity to get involved and learn different things about NATA.”

T.C. White, SCAT, ATC, said she has also been able to form a network of ATs in a variety of settings thanks to her time volunteering at the NATA convention and encourages others to get involved in NATA’s largest event.

“Convention is great, but it only runs as well as the people who help out with it,” White said. “So, the more people we can get volunteering, the better off we’re going to be.”

Learn more about volunteering and its benefits by watching the video at the end of the post.


2. Donate Blood

Since 1993, the NBATA Gary Vitti Blood Drive has empowered athletic trainers to help save lives beyond the sidelines. Attendees will have opportunities to donate blood throughout NATA 2024. The blood drive will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 26-27 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 28. Walk-up appointments are available all three days between sessions and during break times.

To learn more about the history of the blood drive, read the article “Blood Drive Celebrates 30 Years of Giving Back” on p. 27 of the August/September 2023 NATA News.


3. Register With the Marrow Donor Program

While at the NBATA Gary Vitti Blood Drive, attendees can also sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program (formerly Be the Match). By joining the program, attendees can potentially help those diagnosed with blood cancer and disorders through bone marrow donation.


4. Participate in the EDAC Service Event

Each year, the NATA Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee holds a service event during the NATA convention.

This year, EDAC, in collaboration with the NATA DEIA Council and NATA LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee, is launching the Dress for Success Career Closet program at the NATA convention. Through this program, EDAC will collect gently used, clean and freshly laundered professional clothing suitable for wearing to job interviews. Donations will benefit Career Closet programs and/or Dress for Success programs at local colleges and universities. 

Clothing donations can be dropped off in the NATA 2024 registration area June 25-26 and outside of the EDAC Town Hall at 3 p.m. June 26. Acceptable donations include:

  • Interview-appropriate suits and pant suits
  • Sport coats and blazers
  • Dress pants
  • Dress shirts and blouses
  • Ties
  • Interview-appropriate skirts and dresses


5. Give to the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee Sock Drive

For the first time, the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee is hosting a sock drive during the NATA convention. The committee is collaborating on the sock drive with Covenant House New Orleans, which provides shelter and services to youth under 22 years old.

The committee is seeking new socks of any length and color. Fun socks are especially encouraged. Donations will be collected during the LGBTQ+ Town Hall at 2:30 p.m. June 27. Covenant House representatives will also be at the town hall and will speak about the organization and its impact.