Over 150 coats and jackets, along with scarves, hats and gloves, were donated by generous CSU faculty, staff and students during fall semester. Members of Trinity Cathedral and community advocate, Larry Heller, Master of Social Work student, collected a large share of the donations. Volunteers from the Center for International Services & Programs (CISP) and the Graduate Student Resource Center (GSRC) laundered coats and Harlan Smith, CISP Director, partnered with a local dry cleaner who offered discounted dry cleaning services.
The idea of the coat drive grew from a chance encounter with a newly arrived international student who was unprepared for the January weather. Smith recounted, “With the ongoing perseverance and commitment by the Center for International Services & Programs, the Graduate Student Resource Center, and other campus partners with collective concern for students not having appropriate winter clothing, the collection began.” Patricia Otcasek, Manager of the GSRC, shared, “This would not have been possible without the generosity and kindness of our campus community and the many graduate students who embraced this service project by posting signs on and off campus, preparing and monitoring donation boxes, and even laundering items. The unexpected enthusiasm by our Trinity Cathedral neighbors gave us a huge boost when they collected donations from their members during the holidays.”
The GSRC and CISP extend sincere thanks to all those who donated winter weather items. Currently, fewer than 25 coats remain. Remaining items will be donated to local charities, including the new CSU Lift Up Vikes program, to pay it forward and help others with similar needs.
The collection of coats has ended; however, items are available for distribution through the end of February. If you find yourself still in need of warm winter items, visit MC 411 between 9-5pm.