Coat drive struggled to get students attention


Kaitlin Rodriguez

The Coffee for Coats drive still had plenty of coffee and donuts as the drive came to a close. Alyssa Jan, vice president, tabled on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

Kaitlin Rodriguez, Reporter

With winter fast approaching, the homeless population in Southern California will soon be exposed to colder weather. In an effort to aid those affected, the Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology Club hosted a coat drive this past week throughout campus, benefitting Lutheran Social Services.

Under the name Coffee for Coats, the club asked members of the campus community to donate outerwear, sleeping bags or blankets from Oct. 21 through Oct. 25. The first 50 people to donate on Wednesday, Oct. 23 received a free coffee or donut. However, the club barely made a dent in the donuts and coffee they had to offer.

Despite efforts to incentivize students to donate, the turnout was not what club vice president Alyssa Jan had hoped for.

“We have been hoping for more donations,” Jan said. “Our friends and family have donated but it has been difficult to get other people to donate.”

Jan said this was the first year the sociology club hosted the coat drive. While the event was posted on The Hub and flyers were posted around campus not much attention seemed to be gained from students, rather attracting staff.

“We have had mostly faculty as the people who have donated,” Jan said.

The root of the lack of donations seemed not to be a lack of interest, but rather a lack of knowledge about the event. For sophomore Ally Campbell that was exactly the case.

“I didn’t even know it was happening honestly,” Campbell said. “I really don’t pay attention to a lot of the events on The Hub or flyers around campus unless they are super attention-grabbing, and even then it’s always that thing where I say to myself ‘oh I should do that’ and then forget about it and never actually do it.”

Club President Meagan Smith-Bocanegra had similar sentiments to Campbell and felt that the lack of donations wasn’t out of malicious intent but innocent forgetfulness.

“I think people pay attention to The Hub, but I think they just get busy and forget what they see,” Smith-Bocanegra said. “We’re all so busy all the time; it’s hard to remember things that you want to do when you see them on The Hub and then they pass.”

Although the amount of coats and blankets donated was not what the club had hoped for, Smith-Bocanegra made it clear that any donation was still appreciated.

“The fact that we got any donations made it a success,” Smith-Bocanegra  said.

The club plans to run the coat drive again next fall, but “probably without tabling in the library,” rather leaving donation boxes around campus, Smith-Bocanegra said.

In spring, the club will host more donation events benefiting charities such as Quilt Project Gold Coast, which honors those who have lost their lives to AIDS and those living with it. They also have plans to continue their annual tampon drive to provide feminine hygiene products for those in need.

While the club is associated with the Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society, you do not have to be a member of AKD or be a sociology student to join. Smith-Bocanegra said there are no requirements to be part of the club.

“Anyone can join, there aren’t any prerequisites,” Smith-Bocanegra said. “You just have to want to help people.”