Hats, gloves, and other winter clothing donated by members of St. John are stacked on a table in the Student Life Office (SLO). Photo by Sonja Brandt
By Paige Uzzell
With all the snow, wind and freezing weather, students from more temperate states can still be prepared and warm in the chilly Nebraska temperatures. St. John Lutheran Church put together a winter clothing drive for students who do not have warm clothing for the Nebraska winter.
The members of St. John’s college ministry board put together the annual clothing drive. The drive was solely for coats in past years, but that changed as the needs of the students changed. The clothing now consists of coats, scarves, hats and gloves in all sizes and colors.
“(I)t kind of started as a true winter coat drive, but it developed into sweaters and different pants. Some years we have had the actual thermal underwear and hats and scarves and mittens, and so now they have called (it) ‘winter clothing,’ which is what they’re really going for,” Rehema Kavugha, director of student development, said.
Students can walk into the Student Life Office and take what they need off the table. No one needs to sign in or ask to take a coat or scarf; everyone is free to take what they need.
“You just come in and look through on your own,” Kavugha said. “They bring over new items from church on Sunday, so I try to lay that out so that students can see, and then anytime our office is open students can come in.”
The free clothing is just one less thing students need to worry about trying to afford on a college budget.
“I know especially our students from the southern half of the United States, or at least the West Coast, really genuinely appreciate this, especially the hats and the gloves because that is just one less thing they have to go to Walmart to buy,” Kavugha said.
Concordia students are able to take winter clothing up until the end of November. When November is done, Concordia will donate all the leftover clothing to Blue Valley Community Action Partnership in Seward, an organization dedicated to helping families in need.
Kavugha said the event affects the students at Concordia because it’s a reminder that people care about each individual on campus.
“(I)t’s another reminder that there are other people that care and that they’re always thinking about them. I know when we think about college students, we think about giving them food, but clothing is just as important,” Kavugha said. “I know students have really benefited from that, and it’s been successful, which is why we have continued to do it and will continue to do it.”