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Published 2/12/03
Owens Community College Students Organize Clothing Drive to Assist Homeless Shelters

Owens Part-Time SHAC employee, Jan Schimming (left), and Stacy Gregory, a student majoring in social work, lend a helping hand at the College's Clothing Drive. As the frigid temperatures persist in Northwest Ohio, many homeless individuals are faced with the reality of trying to survive the cold with only the clothes they are wearing. For two Owens Community College student organizations, the thought of people battling the winter season without coats or blankets was enough for a decision to organize a college-wide Clothing Drive.

In late January, Owens' Student Government and the Environmental Club coordinated a Clothing Drive asking for various charitable donations from the College's faculty, staff and students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area Campuses. The donations collected would then be given to help those less fortunate as a result of the freezing temperatures in Northwest Ohio.

Within the span of four days, the two student organizations collected over 200 garbage bags full of donated items, such as blankets, coats, hats, gloves, pants, sweaters, sweatshirts, shoes, socks, scarves and headbands. All charitable donations were separated and presented to the Toledo Rescue Mission and St. Paul's Community Center's Outreach Program, which are both located in Downtown Toledo.

According to John Byers, President of Owens Environmental Club and a Student Government Representative, the overwhelming amount of clothing, which was donated to the two mission centers, could not have occurred without the sincere generosity of Owens' faculty, staff and students, and their desire to make a difference in the lives of others.

"The efforts of Owens Community College reflect the type of people who represent this College and their compassion to fellow citizens in the community," said Byers, a Grand Rapids resident who is a sophomore Business Management major at Owens. "These charitable contributions made a difference in keeping others warm during the harsh winter months."

Among the items collected were more than 150 coats, which after being donated to St. Paul's Community Center were immediately given to homeless individuals sleeping in the bitterly cold temperatures.

"One hundred percent of the credit for organizing this Clothing Drive goes to the two student organizations," said Dermot Forde, Owens Coordinator of Student Activities. "The individuals in both of these organizations are the type of students who will motivate others to be active and involved on campus and in the community. I am very proud of our students and their desire to make a difference."

Forde added, "The donations collected will help hundreds of individuals who are in need of blankets and clothing during these bitterly cold winter months."

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio with 24 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor 's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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