December 2nd was a much anticipated day for the Ohio University Chillicothe community. Specifically, those who planned, donated, and supported the establishment and opening of the Hilltopper Resource Center, which is located in room 19 of Bennett Hall.
Dr. John Fisher, Director of Student Services, recognized the need for a food pantry and worked diligently with student veteran services worker, Matthew Bush, to obtain donations and stock the shelves for the pantry. Bush worked with the Student Nurse Organization and Brandon Pritchard with the Military Veterans Resource Center to help with gathering food items. Pritchard is also a former graduate of Ohio University’s Bachelor of Social Work program.
The food pantry is now operational and has already helped two students on the Chillicothe campus.
Additionally, Bush also worked with the Social Work department and Student Social Work Association (SSWA) to set up a clothing closet where many faculty, staff, and students from the Chillicothe campus have generously provided clothing, shoes, coats, suits, and handbags. The senior class of the social work program were also able to donate many coats to the clothing closet as well from other generous providers.
In addition to food and clothes, the Hilltopper Resource Center also supplies toiletries, provided by the Military Veterans Resource Center, and an abundance of notebook paper, which was generously donated by Chillicothe campus student, Kayleigh Stapleton.
Dean Nicely was pleased with the outcome and has been very gracious in his support of the Hilltopper Clothing Closet and Food Pantry. He was there during the grand opening and thanked all who supported the establishment of a much needed resource for our students. He added how the donors, staff, and student organizations as well as Matt Bush have been able to establish a renewed vibrancy on our campus.
Stacey Saunders-Adams, Assistant Professor of the Social Work Program, spoke of the important role that the senior social work class had in obtaining the winter coats. The students had originally obtained coats for a community outreach event, but because of the abundance in donations, the extra supply allows the clothing closet to provide coats to students who are in need as well.
Mary Brown, Assistant Professor of Instruction of the Social Work Program, remarked, “The resource center can make a difference in our student’s lives. Together, we are able to provide some of their basic needs and provide a way for them to have the needed clothing to obtain a job or maintain a job without the extra expense of clothing.”
If anyone would like further information regarding the clothing closet or food pantry, or are in need of any of these items, please contact the Chillicothe campus’s Veteran Services Office at 740.772.7730.