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Press Release



November 12, 2013

Clothing exchange helps numerous community members


The KNEA – SP Education Majors’ annual clothing drive saw its usual crowd from the community, with families once again lining up at the door as early as 7:30 a.m. to have a prime spot for the 10 a.m. opening Saturday at Cowley College’s Robert Brown Theatre.

However, this year contributions were down and many families left without receiving much needed items, specifically coats, hats, pants and shoes.

“After living here my whole life it was very hard for me to see so many people from my own community struggle,” Cowley student Sydney Borror said. “I only wish we would have had more items for the community to pick from.”

Student volunteers included Education majors, students enrolled in Psychology or Sociology courses as well as some from the Criminal Justice program.

Julie Rhoads, sponsor for KNEA-SP and Cowley College’s Director of Education, asked students to consider the reasons for supporting such an event. Students reflected on the overall results and realized that while they understand that a need exists they tend to push those thoughts to the back of their mind.

“Personally, I have always known there was a need, but I never saw it so it was very easy to not think about,” Mariah Vargas said. “This clothing drive is a wonderful thing for our community to help those in need.”

As future educators, the Cowley students came to understand that those community members supported by this event are potential students whose basic needs might not be met. Criminal Justice majors discussed various ways an event like this can strengthen law enforcement and community relationships.

KNEA-SP would like to thank all of those who contributed clothing items or volunteered their time; support of this event certainly addresses a significant community need.

“It was a very rewarding experience for me,” Cowley student Taylor Watham said. “While we were low on contributions, we were still able to make an impact on the community by giving them what we had and directing them to other local charities for further assistance.”

Along with the clothing exchange, Rhoads had fliers distributed to community members in support of the Central Christian Church Clothing Ministry efforts.

“It was disappointing to see a significant drop in contributions, but we decided that maybe our goal for the year was to support the church and their efforts to meet a community need,” Rhoads said. “We tried to focus on that positive. Given that the KNEA-SP event is annual, we recognize that families need assistance throughout the year, therefore why not support those other programs as well?”