UNH Coat Drive Warms Bodies and Hearts in Chilly Weather

Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations

November 19, 2003

DURHAM, N.H. -- University of New Hampshire faculty, staff and students are asking the greater Seacoast community to join with them in collecting hundreds of coats for the university's Second Annual Coat Drive.

Organized by UNH Facilities, Grounds and Roads, and the Thompson School Community Service and Leadership Program, the drive will run Dec. 1-10.

“The coat drive will benefit people who are often overlooked in our community,” UNH student Jesse Barnes said.

Donations of clean winter coats for men, women and children will be accepted at drop-off locations on and off campus. On campus, coats can be dropped off at the Memorial Union Building, Dimond Library, Field House, Barton and Putnam halls, Health Services, many residence halls and the Alumni Center.

Off campus, coats can be delivered to Daniel Webster College in Portsmouth, RMC Research in Portsmouth, the Rochester Recreation Department, Durham Evangelical Church, the USDA Forest Service and Dover Children's Center. Donated coats should be clean and useable. Collected coats will be donated to Operation Blessing, Crossroads House, Families First and Planet Aid. Last year, more than 300 coats were brought to local organizations.

According to Kate Hanson, an associate professor with the Thompson School of Applied Science who chairs the Community Service and Leadership Program, a variety of coats, both style and size, are needed because they are being donated to a variety of organizations.

“For example, staff from Operation Blessing were waiting outside for our delivery of coats because they so desperately needed men's coats — they didn't have any before we arrived with our bags full — and it was very cold last December,” Hanson says.

According to research done by Hanson's students, more than 10 percent of children in Rockingham and Strafford counties live in poverty (2000 U.S. Census). The poverty threshold for a family of four in 2001 was $18,104.