Hundreds of local children will be receiving coats and boots this winter thanks to a winter drive organized by one of OHIO’s longest running groups committed to leveraging the resources and manpower at the university to help the community.
Kids on Campus is hosting a winter coats and boots drive on campus, with proceeds to benefit area children in need. In addition to tabling at various spots on campus including Grover and Baker centers, the group has also placed donation baskets in administrative offices around campus. The drive is scheduled to end Dec. 8.
“This is a way for us to give back to the families who participate in our programs throughout the year,” said Jo Ellen Sherow, program manager for Kids on Campus. “The winter drive really is an effort that reaches pretty far. Kids grow. We need the ability to keep up with that.”
The group has received 400 names of children in need of coats and boots this year—the most ever. Several hundred coats and boots have already been collected, Sherow said, but the group is still seeking many more. This drive comes on the heels of a successful back-to-school supply drive this fall.
“The need certainly doesn’t get less every year,” Sherow said. “Another one of the issues is that the region we live in is very generous and provides a lot of opportunities, but it’s not always easy to access these opportunities.”
It is important to remember, Sherow said, that while resources for assistance with childcare and food might be available, local families must also sometimes contend with long drives to take advantage of these resources. Federal Hocking School District, which hosts a Kids on Campus afterschool program, is one of the largest school districts in the state, spanning more than 200 square miles.
Kids on Campus has become one of Ohio University’s most enduring groups connecting the university with the local community. Celebrating 20 years of helping area children last year, the group’s operations have grown to include after school enrichment programs, summer camps, and food drives. This fall, Kids on Campus received an 1804 Grant totaling $19,000 to expand its efforts in engaging OHIO students as volunteers.
“I can’t describe how important this is to the region,” Sherow said. “There isn’t anything like this in the area. The afterschool program really is vital.”
In addition to coat and boot drop-off sites, donations can be made via check to "The Ohio University Foundation" with "Kids on Campus" noted in the memo line. Mail checks to P.O. Box 869, Athens, OH 45701.