Students help the less fortunate

Two clubs on the Northern Kentucky University campus are working to make a difference in the community through canned food and winter goods drives this holiday season.

Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students (ECOS) and the Sociology Club have been collecting donations in Landrum Hall and the Science Center to give to non-profit organizations in the Cincinnati area. The winter months are sometimes the hardest for struggling families in the area.

ECOS collected canned goods in the Science Center from Nov. 17 to Dec. 1. The club brought in about two to three pounds of food, according to President Rosie Santos. The food will be given to the Women’s Crisis Center (WCC) in Covington.

WCC works to find the social change needed to end domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse. In 2001, the center assisted more than 90,000 people through various programs and services, according to their web site.

ECOS will continue to collect winter coats for the rest of the semester. So far, the bins in the Science Center are filling up with coats faster than they did with food, said Kristy Hopfensperger, ECOS adviser.

The Sociology Club has been accepting canned food and winter goods since October. Vice President LaKeisa Ealy said they plan to continue collecting until the end of the school year in April.

The club’s donations of winter accessories, toiletries and gift cards will be split between the Brighton Center in Newport and the Drop Inn Center in Cincinnati.

The Brighton Center creates an environment and opportunities for struggling individuals and families to reach self-sufficiency. At the Drop Inn Center, the main commitment is to provide shelter and basic human services for homeless men and women living in Cincinnati. The center’s web site says that it is a place the homeless can turn to for hope and for help.

According to Ealy, the Sociology Club decided to split the donations between them because they are two very different organizations and the club wants to make sure they can “meet everyone’s needs.”

The Sociology Club’s canned food donations were small, Ealy said, but has also collected 20 coats and a box of toiletries for the organizations.

Both clubs are continuing to collect donations for the rest of the semester (and Sociology through April), so students still have time to donate winter goods. ECOS asks winter coats to be dropped into bins, which are located on every floor of the Science Center. For the Sociology Club, bring winter accessories, toiletries ­— soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste etc. — and gift cards of any amount from places like Kroger and Family Dollar, where families can buy anything they need, to the Department of Sociology/Anthropology/Philosophy in LA 217C.

Story by Claire Higgins