Students team up to conduct winter coat drive

Freshman and sophomore class representatives of USG and the Knights of Columbus are looking for help in spreading holiday cheer. They have teamed up to conduct a drive for lightly used winter coats, hats and gloves.

The clothing will be donated to Sharing and Caring Hands, which strives to help those in need. Sharing and Caring Hands, based in Minneapolis and celebrating its 25th year of operation, relies solely on donations.

The winter coat drive will start Monday, Nov. 30. Donated clothing is not limited to certain sizes. Decorated boxes for donations will be located in Koch Commons, the Leadership Room in the "Blue Lagoon," the Binz and Flynn Hall.

In addition, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, the three groups will decorate cookies (and enjoy hot chocolate). "The decorated cookies also will go to Sharing and Caring Hands, but of course holiday cheer helpers can decorate and eat a cookie, too," commented Jared Scharpen, WSNAC neighborhood senator and one of the drive's organizers. Cookie decorating will take place in the second-floor atrium of Murray-Herrick Campus Center. (Enjoy watching the hit Christmas movie "Elf" while decorating.)

"Let us be generous this holiday season and help those in need," Scharpen remarked. "Thank you and God bless." Christmas helpers who can assist in any way are asked to e-mail Greg Scharine, sophomore class president, or Mike Orth, freshman class president.

Sharing and Caring hands serves more 240,000 meals each year to people in need. Last year the organization paid for 19,033 nights of shelter for single men and women and 7,175 people were sheltered with families in hotels. It also provides showers for those without access to adequate facilities. In 2008, it provided eye exams and glasses for approximately 600, over half being children referred by schools.