The Division of Volunteer Efforts and the Sophomore Discovery Program at Seton Hall are collaborating on a Coat Drive that officially began on Oct. 16 and will culminate in a student distribution of the coats on Nov. 7 at the Apostle House in Newark.
Students who signed up for the November Service-on-Saturday date will be distributing the coats.
Seton Hall students can donate new and lightly-used coats from now until Nov. 6 at the DOVE office, located in the basement of Boland Hall.
Senior Mark Cantine, a resident assistant for the Sophomore Discovery Program, said that they would take men’s, women’s and children’s coats.
“We’ll distribute it to families then, because then we’re not just distributing to one group of people, but to anyone who needs it,” Cantine said.
Thomas Russomano, assistant director of DOVE, said that the Newark Apostles’ House originally approached DOVE with the idea to do a coat drive in collaboration with SOS.
“The Apostles’ House was originally a family emergency shelter; the organization now offers a variety of social services to the underprivileged in Newark,” Russomano said in an e-mail interview.
He added that some of the services the Apostles’ House now provides include a food pantry, a homeless outreach, and HIV/AIDS programs.
According to Cantine, he was looking for a volunteer project to give to the Sophomore Discovery Program when Russomano told him about the coat drive.
Cantine said that the Sophomore Discovery Program will mostly be working on advertising and “getting the word out,” but he also hopes that they will donate a coat and inspire others to do the same.
“I have 35 kids (in Xavier Hall); if they all bought one coat, that’s 35 people that they’d be able to impact, and I just thought that’s such a powerful statement,” Cantine said.
Additionally, Cantine felt that the SOS student distribution of the coats was an excellent idea.
“It’s a really great way for students to take control, by donating the coat and then by distributing it,” Cantine said. “You donate a can of food but you never see where it goes, this is kind of a unique opportunity for students to donate a coat, and then the students who get to go to that site get to see what they’ve done, what kind of impact they’ve had.”
Cantine said that while there was no official goal for the number of coats DOVE and the Sophomore Discovery Program are aiming to have donated and distributed, he personally would like to get at least 500, maybe even 1,000.
“I don’t think that’s too big a goal, if everyone just brings one coat and tells a friend to also,” Cantine said, adding that he would be rummaging through his closet at home to find old coats to donate.
“Deans, professors, admins, anyone can really get involved,” Cantine said.”You can ask your family (for coats) or just treat yourself to a new one and donate the old one.”
In addition to collecting coats, Russomano said that DOVE is also looking for donations of other winter items, such as hats, scarves and gloves, and is willing to schedule a pick-up for large amounts of clothing.
Cantine said that he does not believe DOVE has received any coats yet, but said that he hoped DOVE would have some donations by the end of the week.
“Today starts our really big push,” Cantine said.
The Nov. 7 SOS date is currently still open for Seton Hall students who wish to sign-up.
For more information regarding the coat drive or to schedule a donation pick-up, DOVE can be reached at (973) 761-9702.
Caitlin Carroll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.