Gannon University Students Hold Clothing Drive for Those Less Fortunate

CIS Clothing DrivePosted: February 17, 2015

To find a worthwhile project for their leadership seminar course, Gannon University computer and information science majors needed to look no farther than outside their frosty classroom windows.

The students organized a winter clothing drive for Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption Services Refugee Resettlement Program and will distribute the collected items on Friday, Feb. 20.

The leadership seminar always includes a project to benefit the community, but according to Mark Blair, who teaches the seminar, the project usually happens later in the semester, providing more time for planning and execution.

"Obviously," he said, "the need for the clothing wouldn't wait, and once this project was brought to the class on January 17, I distributed all of the authority to the students. Once a week I'm there to facilitate, but the students are doing this on their own."

They found partners on campus, including the Muslim Student Association, Delta Kappa Epsilon and Zeta Beta Tau fraternities. They set up collection sites at three residence halls, in the commuter and adult student lounges and the Gannon Bookstore, and one student negotiated with the Bookstore to obtain a discount on clothing that was purchased for the drive.

Adding a social-media component to the effort, another student set up a "wish list" of eligible items for purchase through Amazon.com. The "wish list" can be accessed here.

Though items collected through this week will be distributed on Friday, Blair said the project would remain open for donations. "I have a feeling that momentum may outlast the drive, because the need won't end," he said, adding, "I didn't expect to see the amount of enthusiasm and hard work the students have put in over such a short time. It's a gratifying thing to see the Gannon culture in action."