What to know about the Winter Gear Drive

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Two weeks ago, on Nov. 15, UConn Praxis and Creating Caring Communities began their Spreading Warmth in Winter: Winter Gear Drive.  

UConn Praxis is a citizenship organization focused on empowering and inspiring UConn students through being committed to building a more equitable society. 

Creating Caring Communities is an organization committed to building a community for students who either have been or are still currently in the foster care system or identify as independent. Through CCC, students of that identity are given academic and social support, while also working to provide a community. 

Both UConn Praxis and Creating Communities are combining their efforts to lead the Winter Gear Drive, which will be running until Dec. 6.  

The Daily Campus was lucky enough to speak with UConn Praxis’ Coordinator of their hunger and homelessness campaign, Srimayi Chaturvedula, via email. 

“Our Spreading Warmth in Winter Donation Drive is collecting used or new winter clothes from UConn to provide them to people in need, whether that be UConn students who need these resources or homeless individuals in the greater Connecticut area,” Chaturvedula explained. “We are hopeful of collecting a bounty of items to distribute this season, as the wintertime and acquiring adequate winter gear is extremely difficult for individuals who experience poverty and resource insecurity. We are collecting donations right now until Dec. 6, 2021, and donation boxes can be found in dining halls, the Student Organization Center in the Union and Homer Babbidge Library.” 

This is not the first time that UConn Praxis or Creating Caring Communities has run a donation drive; similar events were run just a few weeks ago. 

“The UConn Praxis Hunger & Homelessness Campaign has traditionally organized donation drives as a way to substantially support and uplift underserved populations,” Chaturvedula elucidated. “We just finished our Hopeful Food Drive, in which we collected food donations from the larger UConn area by allowing people to donate from their doorstep. Our campaign interns distributed flyers and revisited homes to collect donations from people’s doorsteps, and we will soon donate these collections to local soup kitchens. Creating Caring Communities just conducted a Grab-and-Go Friendsgiving titled, ‘Feed the Fam,’ which was aimed towards providing a Thanksgiving meal for those experiencing food and/or housing insecurity, independent status, family estrangement or with lived experience in the foster care system.” 

This Winter Gear Drive will have a major impact on those less fortunate in our community. 

“Lower income families and individuals experiencing poverty struggle to afford winter clothing, such as coats, sweaters, gloves, scarves and hats, and they often rely on donations to shelters and distribution centers to be able to stay warm during the winter,” Chaturvedula described. “There are even many students here on campus who experience financial burdens and are unable to afford such commodities, and our Spreading Warmth in Winter Donation Drive will give these valuable resources to people who can really benefit from them. Additionally, by being sustainable through the repurposing of unwanted winter gear, we are able to reduce environmental waste by keeping people warm.” 

Students can participate in the drive by depositing their winter-appropriate items in the various drop-boxes around campus, including in dining halls, the Student Organization Center in the Union and in Homer Babbidge Library. 

To get involved in the work of UConn Praxis, email Chaturvedula at srimayi.chaturvedula@uconn.edu. To join the Creating Caring Communities email list, contact Maria Kelley at maria.kelley@uconn.edu

To stay up to date with any news surrounding the organizations, follow UConn Praxis and Creating Caring Communities on Instagram @uconnpraxis and @uconnccc. 

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