JOPLIN, Mo. —
Students at Missouri Southern State University are collecting coats, jackets and other winter wear for youngsters who will need warm clothing over the next few months.
Clean, gently used coats and jackets of all shapes and sizes are welcome; teen sizes are most needed. Organizers said they also will accept warm clothing such as hats, gloves, scarves and sweaters.
Donations may be dropped off at blue boxes located in the following MSSU buildings: Billingsly Student Center, Criminal Justice Building, Health Sciences Building, Hearnes Hall, Kuhn Hall, Leggett & Platt Athletic Center, Plaster Hall, Reynolds Hall, Spiva Library, Student Life Center, Taylor Education Building, Taylor Performing Arts Center and Webster Hall.
The donated clothing will go to the Joplin Bright Futures program to be distributed to schoolchildren in need of warm winter wear.
The drive is organized locally by the students of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society.
“We think it’s a great way to connect to kids in our community that are in need,” said Ruth Stamper, president of the honor society’s chapter at Missouri Southern.
Stamper said the honor society typically holds one fundraiser or service project per semester, and students have organized a coat drive for the past few years. Last year, clothing donations totaled about 1,500 pounds, she said.
“I know that it’s been a growing project,” she said.
The drive is coordinated with One Warm Coat, a national nonprofit organization that supports and encourages coat drives. Nearly 4 million coats have been collected and distributed through One Warm Coat activities since 1992, according to the organization’s website.
“More people than ever need help these days,” said Sherri Wood, president and national coordinator for One Warm Coat, in a statement released through Missouri Southern. “I am proud of the thousands of coat-drive organizers whose creativity and generosity of spirit have made helping people so easy and who are making a real difference in their own communities.”
DONATIONS OF COATS AND JACKETS for the One Warm Coat drive will be accepted until Monday, Nov. 18.