The University of Connecticut’s Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) group will collect paper towels for the Windham Region No Freeze Hospitality Center in the Student Union today from noon to 5 p.m.
A collection table will be located on the first floor of the Student Union, according to a post in the Daily Digest.
Riley Barnes, RUF outreach coordinator and fifth-semester mechanical engineering major, said someone affiliated with the shelter told her roommate that they needed cleaning supplies and padlocks, giving Barnes the idea to organize the drive.
“One of the biggest supplies they needed was paper towels, because they are used to clean everything and they go through them pretty fast,” Barnes said.
Barnes said the shelter’s needs and the short amount of time they had to plan the drive contributed to RUF’s decision to ask for paper towel donations.
“We only had two weeks to put this fundraiser together, (and) paper towels are a pretty inexpensive and unique item to advertise,” Barnes said.
In addition to paper towels, RUF will be collecting monetary donations to buy padlocks for the shelter’s residents, Barnes said.
“RUF as an individual group is also raising $140 to buy 75 padlocks for the shelter so that the homeless residents can lock away their things during the day,” Barnes said. “We are going to offer this option of donation at the table on Thursday too if we don’t hit that goal as a club or if people want to help out but don’t have any paper towels.”
To make a donation, Barnes said students can either drop off paper towels in the Union or Venmo money for the padlocks to @uconnruf. Any money rasied over the $140 for padlocks will be used to buy more paper towels, Barnes said.
The Windham Region No Freeze Hospitality Center is designed to give homeless people in the Windham area a place to stay, according to its website.
“The Windham Region No Freeze Hospitality Center is a Community Coalition founded in 2003 by individuals dedicated to making sure no one is left out in the cold,” the website says. “Our goal is to provide basic overnight shelter from cold weather for homeless persons over the age of 18 from Nov. 15 through April of each year. No one is turned away; all we ask is that our guests respect the volunteers and each other.”
Barnes said RUF, a smaller Christian group on campus, hasn’t held a fundraiser before but has been wanting to do something helpful that a group its size could manage.
“We’ve been spreading the word around campus for the last week and a half and we’re really hoping that our first fundraiser, of hopefully many, is a success,” Barnes said.
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.