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Clothing drive aims to bring warmth to homeless

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

It’s time to clean out your closets — Mercyhurst University Service Learning is collecting winter gear as part of the Mercyhurst Winter Clothing Drive running Dec. 5-19.

While all donations are welcome, blankets, coats and outerwear, adult boots and jeans, socks and gloves are needed. Donations may be delivered to Service Learning Coordinator Bethany Brun in the student union, or placed in candy cane-themed collection bins located in the Audrey Hirt Academic Center, Zurn Hall, Old Main Chapel and the Ice Center.

Donations will benefit the Overflow Shelter of Erie. Any children’s items will benefit Erie County Caring Closet.

Local officials from Erie County Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimated in a January 2014 “single point in time” survey that as many as 1,500 residents were transitionally homeless.

“Recognizing when others are less fortunate and acting to right that injustice is a part of the Mercy mission,” said Brun. “This is the perfect opportunity to help the Erie community stay warm during the harsh winter months, especially when that extra coat or pair of jeans has been gathering dust in the back of your closet.”

Students who would like to support the cause but are unable to gather winter gear until after the holiday break may bring donations to Brun in January.

The clothing drive was inspired by “Snowtown Throwdown,” the January 2-3 hockey match featuring Mercyhurst men’s and women’s hockey against Ohio State University at the Erie Insurance Arena. A portion of the game’s proceeds will benefit the Erie Warming Center.