With the threat of cold weather always looming over Pittsburg, people in desperate need of warmer clothing turn to organizations like Wesley House to help them. The Altruistic Alliance of University Women (AAUW), a student organization dedicated to promoting a more unified, diverse student body and completing community service for the Pittsburg community, is currently hosting a clothing drive to help provide Wesley House with the means to help families in need.
The clothing drive will be held from Feb. 21 through March 7 with drop-off boxes at several locations around campus including the Office of Student Diversity, the Overman Student Center, and Axe Library.
“Right now we are putting on the first part of our Wesley House drive,” said Blake Johnson, junior in English and AAUW secretary. “This first part is a clothing drive. We’re going to try and collect as much clothing and materials as possible to help homeless people through the cold weather.”
While AAUW and Wesley House will accept any type of clothing during the drive, there is particular need for clothing that can help people survive through the harsh winter weather.
“AAUW wants to collect hats, scarves, gloves, blankets, all of those things for people in need,” said Maria Thompson, assistant director of student diversity. “Especially right now we’ve been having a lot of winter. We want to try and make sure we take care of people and reach out to the community.”
Wesley House, a Pittsburg-based organization dedicated to helping the area homeless population, will be receiving all of the clothes gained from the clothing drive.
“I actually started donating to Wesley House over winter break,” Johnson said. “When we got back to AAUW, I said that I was really passionate about (Wesley House) and that I wanted to be involved with them, so (AAUW) decided to do that. I reached out to the chief of operations over there, and I’ve been in contact with them ever since.”
In addition to aiding the homeless population, Wesley House offers several services for area families.
“Wesley House is an outreach mission of First United Methodist Church in Pittsburg, Kansas,” says the organization’s website. “It was established in 1982 to address the needs of low-income families in the area. The mission of Wesley House is to provide a safe, welcoming place for individuals and families of Crawford County to seek assistance, advocacy, education, and hope for a brighter tomorrow. “
“For this semester, we plan on having another drive for Wesley House,” Johnson said. “The next one will be a canned food drive, as well as food supplies. We’ll also have a book drive to get children’s books for over the summer. We also have a couple of events. In the past we’ve done ‘Women Crushing It Wednesday,’ and we are going to re-brand it a little bit differently this year. Instead of focusing on self-care as we have in the past, we are going to focus more on empowering women through strength and knowledge.”
More information on AAUW can be found on Gorilla Engage or by visiting the Office of Student Diversity.