University organizations host coat drive for homeless

11/26/2007 8:00:00 AM

The College of Liberal Arts Student Advisory Board and Women Without Borders are running a coat drive Wednesday, Nov. 28 in the University's Center for Student Cultural Diversity at the Joe Crowley Student Union. People can donate coats from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The organizations will distribute the clothing to the homeless to help keep them warm during winter weather.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Nevada ranks among states with the highest rates of homelessness in the nation. Through the event, Student Advisory Board member Claire Johnson and Women Without Borders member Danielle Biselli hope to make a significant difference in helping the homeless.

"Cleaning out our closets of coats we don't wear anyway may not seem very significant, but it could make a huge difference to the comfort and safety of someone living in our community," Johnson said.

Although Women Without Borders originally organized the coat drive, the Student Advisory Board pitched in to contribute to a charitable cause. The college's Student Advisory Board members hope to collect as many coats as they can during the drive.

"The spirit of volunteerism is really important to our college," Johnson said.

Johnson and Biselli hope to see large numbers of students and community members contribute to the coat drive. In return for coats, donors are eligible to win prizes from local businesses, Johnson said.
The College of Liberal Arts Student Advisory Board formed to gather student feedback on recruiting and academic issues, Johnson said. In 2006, the board instituted the new Dean's Student Awards for outstanding graduates of the college. It will also be planning more charity events in the future, according to Johnson.

"We will definitely organize more service-oriented events because that is such an important component of a liberal education," Johnson said. "A spring event is already in the works."

Women Without Borders is the campus' student feminist organization, said Biselli. The organization runs other events similar to the coat drive and works with local organizations providing community services such as Cooperative de Familias Unidas.

"As one of UNR's feminist voices, we strive to facilitate productive discussion and activism around human rights issues, gender discrimination, sexism and racism," Biselli said.

Several local organizations including Casa de Vida, Volunteers for America and Catholic Community Services of Northern Nevada will assist with the coat drive by distributing donated coats to needy individuals in the community.

The Center for Student Cultural Diversity is on the student union's third floor, next to the main stairway.


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