Fashion organization collects clothes for the needy

Liz Laubscher

The holiday season is thought of by many as the season for giving. There are several student organizations that agree with that way of thinking and have decided to sponsor collections to give to local non-profit organizations.

Laura Potter, junior fashion merchandising major and treasurer for the Fashion Student Organization, said FSO wanted to pick a charity to help for the holidays and decided to help Family and Community Services.

She said the organization is collecting everything from winter coats to new and gently used toys and non-perishable food items.

“We have (items) collecting at the drop boxes, and then we are taking them to mail services where they are being stored until the last day of the collection,” Potter said.

There are drop boxes located in almost every building on campus, including Rockwell Hall, Lowry Hall, Michael Schwartz Center and the University Library’s circulation desk.

“So far, we haven’t done a count, but we’ve got a lot,” Potter said. “We’ve got at least over 20 coats, maybe 10 to 15 toys and a lot of food that we left there to pick up later.”

She said one pick-up was enough to fill the trunk of her car.

Potter said the last day of the collection is scheduled for Dec. 14, the last day of the semester. She also said all donated items go to Kent Social Services, Portage County Clothing Center or the Center of Hope, which are all branches of Portage’s Family and Community Services.

Debby Missimi, director of food services for Family and Community Services, is a coordinator for the holiday collections. She said the organization uses the collected items to make holiday food baskets for local families and give new toys to local children. Donated used items will be delivered to the Portage County Clothing Center where families can get clothing, toys and items for around the house.

“Any family that comes to us with a need receives help,” Missimi said.

She said the organization holds a shopping day so parents can come in and get gifts for their children. She said the first shopping day will be held the week before Christmas.

“The parents register ahead of time, and then they can go in and shop for the toys they know their kids want,” Missimi said. “And then we give them wrapping paper so they can go home and wrap them.”

She said Kent Social Services helped families from Kent, Brady Lake and Franklin Township last year. It distributed almost 1,700 holiday food baskets and gave nearly 1,200 children toys.

The Center of Hope helps families in Ravenna, Ravenna Township and all surrounding Portage County townships and gave about 2,000 holiday food baskets and 1,500 toys to children.

For more information about holiday collections, contact Potter at [email protected], Missimi and Kent Social Services at (330) 673-6963 or Vicki Ladd with Kent State at (330) 672-1956 or [email protected]

Contact social services reporter Liz Laubscher at [email protected].