Franklin & Marshall’s weekly online newsletter
Coat Drive Delivers Warmth for the Holidays
A fierce wind ushered in winter’s chill earlier this week, bringing a frigid end to the fall semester at Franklin & Marshall College. The arrival of the cold snap required students to break out their winter coats—if they had not done so already—as they walked to their final classes of the semester.
Thanks to an F&M student-run coat drive, members of underserved families and refugee families in Lancaster also have winter coats to keep warm.
Members of the F&M community gathered in Steinman College Center last week to wrap newly purchased coats for refugee children. (Back row, left to right): Joel Eigen, Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology and Ware College House don, Robert Diggs ’13, Deepra Yusuf ’13, Laura Caughlan ’14 and Mona Lotfipour ’12. (Middle row, left to right): Asawin Suebsaeng ’11, Kenturah Hetrick ’12, Alexandra Kranidis ’13, Katherine McKiernan ’13, Alana Warnke ’14 and Kevin Huh ’14. (Front): Andrew Renninger ’12.
For the second straight year, Ware College House led a winter coat drive as part of Ware in the World, a community-service initiative introduced last year. Students from Ware House and other College Houses wrapped coats in Steinman College Center last week before donating them to local residents.
“We wrapped 50 brand new coats,” says Mona Lotfipour ’12, who proposed the development of Ware in the World last year and helped to organize the coat drive. “It feels awesome to put a smile on kids’ faces. It feels really good to make them happy.”
The students conducted the coat drive in partnership with Operation Warm, one of the largest nonprofit organizations distributing new winter coats in the country. The Ware Institute for Civic Engagement put the students in contact with the organization. Since its founding in 1998, Operation Warm has provided more than 600,000 new coats to children in nearly 40 states.
Students raised money in residence halls to support the purchase of the new coats, which went to refugee children. Each hall in Ware House, for example, sponsored two children. Through Operation Warm, each coat was $15.
"When it starts getting cold, I complain about taking out my winter coat," says Katie McKiernan ’13. "The coat drive is rewarding because without it, the people we collected coats for wouldn't have a winter coat to complain about needing."
Students, faculty members and professional staff also donated 50 coats to be distributed to local residents. Ware in the World partnered with Church World Services to distribute the donated coats primarily to adult refugees.
"Knowing that the coats we bought go to local refugee families made our efforts even more meaningful,"Â says Alexandra Kranidis ’13.
Earlier this week, the Ware Institute concluded its annual holiday gift drive. Members of the F&M community pitched in to purchase gifts for each of the 298 individuals on this year’s wish lists. The drive benefits the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Lancaster; School District of Lancaster Homeless Project students and International School students; Reynolds Middle School children; Spanish American Civic Association senior citizens; and local refugee families from Nepal and Bhutan.