Throughout January, the Student Association of Public Health (SAPH) is sponsoring a coat drive benefiting Lauren’s Wish Addiction Triage Center, a local non-profit.
The SAPH is accepting new or gently used adult winter coats outside the School of Public Health Administrative Suite at Health Sciences South on the third floor through Jan. 31.
Students who choose to donate can obtain two community service hours by writing their MIX email on a piece of paper and leaving it in the jacket pocket. Students should also send an email containing a picture of their donation to email@example.com to confirm receipt of their service hours.
The initiative was started in an Intro to Social and Behavioral Science and Practice class, as Mya Carter, Katelyn Eaves, Emma Magee, Marissa Stasel and Allison Smith were paired with Lauren’s Wish for a group project during the fall semester.
“Basically, the premise of the class is to go back and forth with community partners and see what they want and need,” Carter said. “We thought this coat drive would be a good way to get them resources they don’t necessarily have the funds for themselves because they are not a medical grade facility.”
Carter currently acts as the vice president of the SAPH and expanded the classroom project into the organization.
“Sponsoring this drive through SAPH gave us an easier way for us to get the name out there and incentivize people to donate,” Carter said. “We can post it on our social media sites, the iServe and we’ve sent out emails and announcements. It’s a lot more efficient to reach people than just word of mouth from the five of us.”
All donations will be distributed to the clients of Lauren’s Wish, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Morgantown that seeks to provide a safe space for those in addiction recovery awaiting treatment placement.
“We thought the drive was a way to help Lauren’s Wish in that we’re getting them resources that they can use, but also they have a small facility and staff. Putting our time and effort into this outside of their space gives them room and time to focus on what they need to,” she said.
Lauren’s Wish was founded in memory of Lauren Cole, a social worker and WVU graduate, who passed away from fentanyl poisoning in July 2020. The organization aims to provide clients access to addiction recovery resources and a place to begin their recovery journey.
Students interested in donating a jacket to the drive can find more information on the SAPH’s iServe.