UNH Warmth Drive A Huge
Success: More Than 1,000 Articles Of Clothing Collected
Contact: Sharon Keeler
UNH Media Relations
Dec. 20, 2004
By Nicholas Gosling, UNH Junior
Hometown: Meredith, N.H.
DURHAM, N.H. -- As the first snow falls in Durham and area residents
feel the cold beginnings of the long winter season, University
of New Hampshire Community Service and Leadership students are
trying to help those unprepared for the weather.
The students, most of them part of the Thompson School’s
Community Service and Leadership Program, are completing the final
stages of their community-wide Warmth Drive. The drive, which began
Nov. 15 and ended Dec. 6, was a program designed to collect new
and used clothing and distribute the clothing to those in need.
The Community Service and Leadership students, who planned the
Warmth Drive, asked students, businesses and area residents to
donate articles of clothing that could be used to keep a person
To date the students have collected more than 3,000 articles of
clothing, including 764 jackets, 1,250 shirts and sweaters, 723
hats, gloves, and scarves, 160 shoes and boots and 94 blankets.
They still have clothing that has not been counted.
The students now face the enormous task of sorting and delivering
the clothing to the numerous support organizations located in
the New Hampshire seacoast area.
Sophomore Ashley Iber of Barrington estimates that they will have
about 3,500 articles of clothing when the sorting is complete.
Iber, who collected the clothing from Ocean National Bank in
Durham and Newmarket, as well as two donation boxes in Barrington,
said that she didn’t know what to expect the first time
she went out to collect from the donation sites.
“When I went into Ocean National Bank [Durham] for the first time
they already had two boxes full and two bags next to that,” said
Iber. “They’re a great example of a business that has
gone way beyond the expectations.”
Freshman Melissa Podaski of Iveryton, Conn., said that she and
other students were surprised at the amount of support they received
for the Warmth Drive.
“We didn’t think it would be this big,” Podaski said. “We
have about 10 agencies left to deliver to. We keep having to go
back and forth because there is so much clothing to deliver.”
Associate Professor and Chair of the Community Service and Leadership Program
Kate Hanson has been assisting the students in coordinating the program.
Hanson said she was surprised by the amount of organizations that have come
forward looking for donated clothing.
“What is amazing is the number of organizations in the area that
said they have a desperate need for clothes,” Hanson said. “Everything
from schools, to group homes, to family services.”
Hanson also recalled some individual families that contacted the
Warmth Drive looking for help.
“One woman told us that she’s always been in a position every
year to help others but because of a recent divorce she doesn’t
have enough money this winter for warm clothes for her three children,” said
Many of the organizations that the Warmth Drive is providing clothing
to are located in
the Seacoast region. The Community Clothing Shop in Rochester,
which supplies free clothing to members of the community, is one
of the many local organizations receiving some of the donated clothing.
“The students found our organization on the United Way web site,” said
Dan Steinbach, grant coordinator of the SHARE Fund that oversees
the shop. “I told them to ‘bring what they can because
we have lot of people in need here.’”
Steinbach said that the students delivered about 400 articles of
clothing to the shop. He believes that the clothing will help
at least 100 people.
The Rochester elementary school, another receiver of donated clothing,
will use the clothes for children who don’t have proper
cold weather attire.
“When we have students come to school who don’t have hats
or mittens they will have them now so they can go outside,” said
Cindy Pauline, extended school programs and volunteer coordinator. “We
think it’s wonderful. We really appreciate what they’ve
[UNH students] done.”
Several businesses in the area have donated not only clothing to
the Warmth Drive but also monetary support. Ocean National Banks
in Durham and Newmarket have both served as drop-off sites for
clothing as well as donated money to the Community Service and
Leadership students to clean some of the clothes.