The Peace Basket Project prepares for 23rd year


Students work on filling their baskets for the Peace Basket Project in 2018. 

Twenty three years ago, the Professional Women of KSU, a group on campus, started the Peace Basket Project. 

The Professional Women of KSU is no longer a group on campus, but the Peace Basket Project has only gotten bigger. 

“We started making about 40 baskets,” project director Barbara Boltz said. “We make over a hundred now. So, now, instead of just having lots of baskets, we are saying ‘pack the baskets.’ We would rather have fewer baskets with lots of stuff in them.” 

The baskets go to the King Kennedy Community Center in Ravenna and are distributed to community members at the center’s holiday party. Throughout the year, items such as deodorant, shampoo, floss and little toys for children are collected at Kent State. 

“Many of the clientele are on SNAP,” Boltz said. “And SNAP only covers food. So we felt, if we could collect things that wouldn’t be covered by SNAP, as well as little toys for children, that we could have them distributed at their holiday parties.” 

This Friday afternoon, from 12:30 p.m. to about 3 p.m., students can go to the King Kennedy Community Center to sort through the items. On Saturday morning, students can go to help fill the baskets. 

“The person filling the container, because it’s not just baskets anymore, decides what they are going to do,” Boltz said. “If it’s going to be for a child, if it’s a boy or girl, is it going to be for a teen, is it going to be for an adult, is it going to be for a family. We have the things all sorted out, toys and hats and gloves and all that kind of stuff. And they go around and they fill the basket.”

At the end, some candy is added to each basket before it is wrapped up, tagged and bowed. 

If students would like to donate items to the basket, the items can be brought to Boltz’s office. She is located in office 250 in the Kent State Student Center. Or, if someone has a large box of items, Boltz can come to pick the items up. 

“I’ve got some collections [in the office], I’ve got some stuff in my car,” Boltz said. “Through Friday at noon, I would take any collections that come in. And then, some people do show up [Saturday morning] with items, and we quickly sort them out. But we do prefer items to be dropped off ahead of time, because we have people there to do the sorting.” 

If there are any left over items from the event, they go to the Portage County home.

Contact Gina Butkovich at [email protected].