Arts & Living
On The Spot
UNH Commuter Connection
The Clock (PSU)
The Equinox (KSC)
TNH Archive (1/97 - 5/03)
Warmth drive delivers promise to Seacoast charities
By Elizabeth Kitt
Friday, December 10, 2004
As the first snow falls in Durham, area residents are feeling the cold beginnings of the long winter season to come. Students involved in the University of New Hampshire Community Service and Leadership program are trying to help those unprepared for the frigid weather. The students, most of them members of Thompson School's Community Service and Leadership Program, are completing the final stages of their community-wide Warmth Drive. The Warmth Drive, which began Nov. 15 and ended last Monday, was a program designed to collect new and used clothing and distribute the clothing to those in need.
The Community Service and Leadership students collected most of the 20 donation boxes set up on and off-campus last Monday. The donation boxes, all about the size of a personal computer box, were festively decorated for the Christmas season. Now the students face the enormous task of sorting and delivering the clothing to the numerous support organizations located in the New Hampshire seacoast area.
The Community Service and Leadership students who planned the Warmth Drive asked students, businesses and area residents to donate any articles of warm, cold weather clothing. So far the students have collected over 3,000 articles of clothing including 764 jackets, 1250 shirts and sweaters, 723 hats, gloves and scarves, 160 shoes and boots and 94 blankets and they still have plenty of clothes that have not been counted.
Sophomore Ashlee Iber estimates that they will have about 3,500 articles of clothing when the sorting is complete. Iber, who collected the clothing from Ocean National Bank in Durham and Newmarket, as well as two donation boxes in Barrington, said she didn't know what to expect from the donation sites.
"When I went in to Ocean National Bank [Durham] for the first time they already had two boxes full and two bags next to that," Iber said. "They're a great example of a business that has gone way beyond the expectations."
Iber, who estimates she has put in about 100 hours already with the Warmth Drive, said that she thinks the students will finish sorting and delivering sometime next week.
"We just have so many items to sort still," Iber said. "It's definitely been amazing and it's been a lot of work."
Freshman Melissa Podaski said that she and other Community Service and Leadership students were surprised at the amount of support they have received for the Warmth Drive.
"We didn't think it would be this big," Podaski said. "It's really important publicize what your doing."
Podaski said that the hardest task now for the students is delivering to the organizations.
"We have about ten agencies left to deliver to," said Podaski. "We keep having to go back and forth [from the agencies] because there is so much clothing to deliver."
Associate professor and chair of the Community Service and Leadership Program Kate Hanson is a professor for many of the Community Service and Leadership students involved in the Warmth Drive. She has been assisting the students in coordinating the program. Hanson said she was surprised by the amount of organizations that have come forward looking for donated clothing.
"What is amazing is the number of organizations in the area that said they have a desperate need for clothes," Hanson said. "Everything from schools, to group homes, to family services."
Hanson also recalled some individual families that contacted the Warmth Drive looking for help.
"One woman told us that she's always been in a position every year to help others but because of a recent divorce she doesn't have enough money this winter for warm clothes for her three children," said Hanson. "She asked if we could donate her some items."
Many of the organizations that the Warmth Drive is providing clothes to are located in the New Hampshire Seacoast region.
The Community Clothing Shop in Rochester is one of the many local organizations receiving some of the donated clothing. Located at the Rochester Community Center, the Community Clothing Shop supplies free clothing to members of the community who need it, said grant coordinator of the SHARE Fund, which oversees the shop, Dan Steinbach. The Community Clothing Shop, which was established in 1990, supplies adult men's clothing to toddler clothing, and "everything in between," Steinbach said.
"The students found our organization on the United Way Web site," Steinbach said. "I told them to bring what they can because we have lot of people in need here."
Steinbach said that the students delivered about 400 articles of clothing to the shop in Rochester this week. He believes that the clothing delivered to the shop will help out at least a hundred people and will be especially useful "since the cold weather is coming."
The Rochester elementary school, another receiver of the donated clothing, will use the clothes for children who don't have proper cold weather attire. Extended School Programs and Volunteer Coordinator Cindy Pauline said that that the Community Service and Leadership students delivered about 90 articles of clothing to the Rochester school. Pauline said that the school has been trying to put together a collection of hats and mittens for a while now.
"When we have students come to school who don't have hats or mittens they will have them now so they can go outside," Pauline said. "We think it's wonderful. We really appreciate what they've [UNH students] have done."
Several businesses in the area have donated not only clothing to the Warmth Drive but also funds. Ocean National Bank in Durham and Newmarket have both served as drop-off sites for clothing as well as for monetary donations for cleaning some of the clothes donated, Market Manager Joanne Boyton said. Boyton also said that both bank locations collected numerous items and plan on participating in next years Warmth Drive.
National College Advertising and Marketing
If you were to win a Spring break vacation, where would you want to go?