Students and Alumni Collect Nearly 900 Items for Winter Clothing Drive

Posted January 24, 2017 / Last updated January 26, 2017

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Before making their donation drop off, the group sorts through boxes and bags all of the winter-weather items they gathered over the two-week drive.

Before making their donation drop off, the group sorts through boxes and bags all of the winter-weather items they gathered over the two-week drive.

On Jan. 20, after a nearly two-week long effort to collect cold-weather items for the Harry Tompson Center (HTC), Jesuit’s Sodality and the Class of 1984 concluded their 2nd Annual Winter Clothing Drive. After last year’s outstanding response, the group was eager to make a similarly-sized contribution to the HTC.

Jesuit community members did not disappoint. From winter coats and jackets to suits, sweaters, underwear, and personal hygiene supplies, the drive collected nearly 900 items for the homeless men, women, and children served by the HTC.

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Ward Rice ’84, who regularly volunteers at the center, was pleased with the relationship his class is building with current students.

“I enjoyed meeting with the Sodality, community service director Kevin Murphy, and chaplain Fr. Kevin Dyer, S.J., to further develop the winter clothing drive,” said Rice. “I was also impressed with not only the students who helped during the drive, but also those who made the trip with us from Jesuit to the Harry Tompson Center to make the donation.”

The drive was much more than a clothing drive, though. Mid-way through their efforts, the Sodality sponsored a lunch-time talk given by the HTC’s Regi Reyes, who spoke on the center’s mission. She also thanked the students for their hard work and explained how the items they gathered would be used to serve the local homeless population. Following her presentation, senior Jacob Acosta also spoke on his volunteer experiences with HTC, encouraging others to get involved.

Upon the drive’s completion, students and alumni worked together in the Commons to gather all of the donations. Current Blue Jays fanned out across campus to collect items left in boxes, while others started bagging the donated items. Group members then loaded their cars and delivered the items to a very grateful HTC.

“Our founder and namesake Fr. Harry Tompson would surely have been proud of the past and present students who participated in the Winter Drive, which resulted in 896 items for our homeless guests,” said Vicki Judice, HTC executive director. “They  have truly exemplified the Jesuit ideal of commitment to service.”

The drive also inspired other alumni to get involved. In celebration of their upcoming 50-year anniversary, the Class of 1967 donated 50 pairs of brand-new running shoes to the HTC in memory of those classmates who have passed away. Class representatives helped with collecting items at school, and Glenn Scheyd ’67 accompanied the group for delivery.

“When alumni from the Class of 1967 surprised us with 50 new pairs of shoes, we were beyond excited,” Judice said. “Shoes are a difficult thing to get donated for our guests, and they were sorely needed. It is beautiful that they were donated in memory of those who have passed, and proves that our lives can touch others in so many positive ways, even after we are gone.”

Want to get involved? For more on the Harry Tompson Center’s wish list,  click here.