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"Vikings Give" Aims to Help Others During the Winter Months

Annual clothing drive looks to provide warmth and cheer to those in need

With the holiday season fast approaching, Cleveland State is once again collecting gently used winter weather clothing donations that will be distributed to unhoused communities located in and around the CSU campus.

Now in its second year and organized by University Marketing & Communications representative Lisa Evans, the drive runs from November 6 – December 11 and is accepting adult, children, and infant coats and jackets, earmuffs, gloves and mittens, hats, long-sleeve t-shirts, scarves, socks, sweatshirts, and sweaters.

The items will be donated to the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH).

According to Evans, the project began when Vice President of Marketing and Communications Roy Gifford asked her to take the lead after observing many unhoused people walking around campus without proper and protective clothing. He thought that if they don’t have clothing during the warmer months, what happens when it gets colder?

That’s when the idea of a clothing drive to support the community began, and the wheels started churning for Evans.

“At first, I was intimidated because I had only been hired at CSU one month prior to being asked to organize this drive, so I didn’t know anyone on campus well enough yet to ask for their help, and I had never led a project of this magnitude,” she said. “But I resonated with the cause and purpose of the drive, so I decided to take on the task and was motivated by the eagerness to help and support from campus partners and our non-profit partner NEOCH.”

Gifford says Evans has not only done a great job with the clothing drive but with executing all of the finer details to ensure it goes off without a hitch.

“Lisa has done a great job organizing and executing all the details such as finding our downtown homeless community clothing partner, clothing drop-off & pickup locations, and communications to the campus community,” he said. “It is awesome to see how much our CSU campus cares about our downtown community through their clothing donations.”

While the benefit of helping others is always worthwhile, the meaning is much more significant because it aligns with President Bloomberg’s initiative of “Living Well Together, On Our Campus, In Our City.”

“I think it invites the CSU community to ignite our passion for the wellbeing of the people and the communities we serve, including the unhoused community we see on campus daily,” said Evans. “Supporting those in our city and not just on our campus helps us to achieve wellbeing for us all and creates allies with our external partners like NEOCH that work to serve this community as well.”

For those interested in donating, boxes will be placed at the following locations:

Administration Center Suite 113
Berkman Hall First Floor Near Barrio
College of Health – Room 307
College of Law – Room 106
Glickman-Miller Urban Building Room 335
Monte Ahuja Business Building Room 420
Science and Research Building Room 353
Student Government Association Office Student Center 343
University Recreation and Wellbeing Center – First Floor
Veteran and Military Success Center at Trinity Commons
Washkewicz Hall, Room 305

Evans is looking forward to building on the momentum set by last year’s successes.

“Last year, we received over 1,000 items of clothing, and this year, we are hoping to double that number and increase the number of participants,” she said. “That is why I included the help of not only faculty and staff but of students, faculty and staff organizations such as the Student Government Association, the Black Faculty and Staff Organization and the Student Veterans of America; with the addition of more box hosts, we are hoping to see an increase in giving and in school spirit and unity across campus.”

Gifford added, “I am hopeful that we will have another great clothing donation drive in 2023, and a big thank you to our campus community who donated last year and who are planning to do it again this year!”

For more information, please visit 
Vikings Give.