Give back to ‘give some warmth’

Erin Coppock

‘Tis the season to give back, and Iowa State Volunteer Services has an easy way to help ISU students do so.

This week, SVS is hosting its annual “Give Some Warmth” clothing drive. Give Some Warmth is a two-week event that collects gently used coats, gloves, scarves and other winter gear at various locations on campus.

With a mission to provide those less fortunate with winter necessities so they — like all Iowans who know how harsh the winter months can be — can stay warm and comfortable, Give Some Warmth will be collecting items through Thursday.

Donations can be made to boxes in Beardshear Hall, Carver Hall, Curtiss Hall, Kildee Hall, LeBaron Hall, Parks Library, the Memorial Union and the Greek Student Affairs Office. The boxes are checked daily by members of SVS and other volunteer groups on campus such as ISU Rotaract Club, the 10,000 Hours Show, Veishea Campus & Community Involvement Committee and the Government of Student Body in order to prevent overflow and theft.

This year, all donations will benefit Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support and Youth and Shelter Services. These organizations are located in Ames and both are nonprofit organizations. Sara Kinderknecht, Give Some Warmth coordinator and junior in apparel, merchandising and design, said it’s an opportunity to give back to the community.

“Both ACCESS and Youth and Shelter Services are organizations in Ames. They do so much to give back to people in need as far as shelter and different support programs, and Give Some Warmth lets us to give back to them,” Kinderknecht said. “November is a crucial month for programs like these because this is the time of year when they are in need of donations the most.”

Kinderknecht prides herself on being involved with the drive because she believes it is something that can make a big difference within the community.

“Give Some Warmth is such a simple idea that can affect so many people in such a positive way,” Kinderknecht said. “There is a less likely chance of getting cold weather-related health problems, such as frost bite or hypothermia, if you are properly outfitted for cold weather.”

She also believes in the difference students can make within the community of Ames.

“If students were to put themselves in these people’s shoes and imagine what it would be like walking from class to class every day in the cold of winter without a hat to keep their head and ears warm, or a pair of mittens to keep their hands warm, they would be very miserable,” Kinderknecht said. “According to Youth and Shelter Service’s Annual Report last year, they helped almost 9,000 unduplicated clients in 2010. With almost 30,000 enrolled at Iowa State, if each person on this campus was to donate only one item to Give Some Warmth, imagine the impact it could have within the community.”

Teresa Glover, community resources coordinator at Youth and Shelter Services, recognizes the need for the donations and is thankful for clothing drives like Give Some Warmth. Glover specifically said how donations benefit the children who are involved within programs at YSS.

“We help people of all ages, especially youth and their parents,” Glover said. “All donations that are collected and donated to us go to clients and participants within our program. Receiving donations are crucial at this time of year, especially for children. They need coats, snow pants, mittens, boots and other winter gear in order to go outside for recess. It’s really hard to see young people being forced to sit indoors because they don’t have the proper attire to play outdoors. Donations aren’t only a necessity for safety for these children, they really do help kids in all aspects of their lives.”

YSS uses every single item brought to them, Glover said. Every year, the nonprofit organization struggles to provide enough winter attire to every individual in its program, so every donation goes a long way.

To receive more information about ways to give back or help these nonprofits, contact ACCESS, at 515-292-0500, or Youth and Shelter Services, at 515-233-2250.