By Spencer Curcillo
As we move into the winter months and temperatures in the Youngstown area regularly drop below freezing, everyone should probably start considering bundling up.
Not everyone has a warm winter coat to wear, however. That’s why Youngstown State University’s Student Government Association began its second coat drive for those in need on Nov. 17.
Michael Slavens, president of SGA, recognizes the desperation of the situation in the Youngstown area and the need for the drive.
“I think it’s very nice for the people in the area, especially given the tough times people are having with the economy and given the way the weather is in northeast Ohio,” Slavens said. “I think it really helps them to have that resource when they can’t provide for themselves.”
Jacob Schriner-Briggs, SGA Executive Vice President, said he shares Slavens’ concerns over the situation in the Youngstown area
“Obviously Youngstown in particular struggles economically in a lot of different ways,” Schriner-Briggs said. “To have any student organization work to make charitable contributions to the greater community is definitely a benefit, especially around this time of year.”
Gabriella Gessler, vice president of Student Life, has taken point on organizing the drive. She has been successfully working with student organizations on campus to further the cause.
“It’s wonderful,” Gessler said. “I hope other organizations reach out. I’m trying to reach out to them as well. The more coats the better obviously. So it’s just really exciting and I hope we have a good turnout this year.”
Gessler also said it’s important students at the university pay attention to the situation beyond the borders of campus.
“I think it’s easy to lose sight of the environment around you,” she said. “I definitely think it’s important for the university to get involved in something like this, and kind of take note of the situation, and really put the best foot forward, and make as many donations as we can.”
This is the second year SGA has run this coat drive. They were generally satisfied with the 96 coats they collected last year.
“It was pretty successful,” Schriner-Briggs said. “When you’re doing anything for charity, any little thing you could contribute helps, but to get around 100 was definitely a positive for us. … We’re hoping we have at the very least a similar turnout to what we got last year if not something better.”
Coats collected during the drive will go the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley. This charitable organization will work to distribute the coats to those in need in the Youngstown area.
Donation bins can be found in Kilcawley Center, Cushwa Hall, DeBartolo Hall, Williamson Hall and Bliss Hall. The drive ends Dec. 12.