Students hope to keep Detroit warm all year long with coat drive
The UDM Student Social Work Association is sponsoring a coat drive through March 15.
"We are doing a coat drive because many people are very generous and thoughtful during the holiday season, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, once the holiday season is over some of us tend to forget that the giving should not end there," said president Aviram Campbell, a senior sociology major and a member of the men's track and field team.
He said Michigan weather means it will still be cold into March.
"There are many homeless people in Detroit suffering from harsh conditions brought on by these hard winter months," Campbell said.
Maria Ibarra, association vice president, echoed Campbell's statements.
"Everybody thinks that coat drives should only be done during Christmas but this is Michigan and it is cold all the way until mid-April, which means there is a high demand for coats," she said. "People pretty much forget that there is a need to donate coats."
Ibarra is a senior double major in English and social work.
The coat drive is just one example of the group's outreach, she said.
"The student social work association is so much more than what people think," said Amer Ebdulghafor, a junior social work major. "We aim at giving back to the community and we have fun while doing so."
By joining the association, students can obtain service-learning hours, meet new people and give back to the community, members said.
"The social work organization is very inclusive. Not every student needs to be a social work major in order to be a part of the organization," said Prof. Billy Blodgett, faculty advisor. "The main idea is to provide service to community and to the campus and to various neighborhoods in need."
Blodgett is an associate professor in the department that includes sociology, social work and human services.
"Someone does not need to have a particular degree to give service," he said. "But since this is primarily a social work student organization, we want to put that theory into practice. It's one thing to study social work but it is another thing to actually do it."
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