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Senior Friend Group Organizes Winter Clothing Drive

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Ava Mania '24

13 December 2021

Seniors Sophia Bermudez, Magdalena Velkoska, Jordan Newbury, and Brianna Eppler organized a clothing drive for those in need this holiday season. Through November 30th, 2021, they collected gently used winter clothing for women and children, donating them to the nonprofit organization Oasis(From left to right) Sophia Bermudez, Maggie Velkoska, Jordan Newbury, and Brianna Eppler dropping off donations

Oasis provides emergency clothing and food, as well as educational and social services such as GED, English, and technical classes for women and children who are often victims of violence, poverty, and substance misuse.

The friends were inspired to take the initiative to help their community with colder weather approaching. “Oasis is a great organization, and we love what they do and stand for,” said Velkoska. “They are the perfect organization for helping others in need.” 

Bermudez’s mother came up with the suggestion for working with Oasis. The cause was one that resonated with them, and they worked diligently to promote the drive by creating fliers and spreading awareness on social media. “Hosting this was very important to my team and I, because we knew we had to stand up and make a change for a great cause,” said Newbury.

They believe that, as Bermudez stated, “kindness spreads, and if we can inspire even a couple of our fellow students to give back, whether it's goods, money or some of their time, I think we would all gain a lot.” 

In total, 45 bags of clothing and shoes were collected. With shortages of winter apparel, Oasis was grateful for the donation. The girls spent the day organizing clothes by gender, size and garb, and dropped them off at the Oasis center in Paterson. Three cars were needed to transport the sizable donation. “This has been inspiring to do and we all have discussed that we will definitely try and host another event in the future to help other organizations,” said Velkoska. 

The drive taught the friends that, as Velkoska explained, “something as little as the shirt in the back of your closet can have such a great impact on someone and can help out in ways most students here cannot even imagine.”

They hoped the event would inspire the community to come together and spread kindness to the less fortunate. ”A community can only grow and become better if we all help each other," said Bermudez. "Giving awareness to such organizations and initiatives may open the eyes and hearts of other young adults to hopefully see that there's much need in the world and most of us are in a position to help."