EWU Winter Clothing Supply Drive


Photo captured by photographer Emily Powers

By Samuel Cash, Reporter

Eastern Washington University’s Iota Beta chapter of the Phi Alpha Honor Society is partnering with Jewels Helping Hands in Spokane and Helping Hands in Everett to collect as many donated clothes as possible as a part of their Winter Clothing Supplies Drive this month.

Alizea Pardo, EWU’s honor society president, says that the winter is a difficult time for the homeless population because of the lack of items such as warm clothing and shelter. “The cold season is definitely when homeless organizations run low because there’s so many basic needs to meet,” Pardo said.

Through this winter clothing drive, EWU is trying to get as many clothes as possible with their student outreach. “I am hoping that, at least from Cheney, to have at least 20 to 30 items of clothing whether that be sweaters, socks, beanies, sweats, important winter clothing items, and toiletries,” Pardo said. Pardo also states that students are one of the best people to donate because of similar clothing sizes to the homeless population. 

EWU is working with Jewels Helping Hands, an organization dedicated to helping assist the homeless population in Spokane through community outreach and providing necessities to homeless people directly on the streets.

Julie Garcia, executive director for Jewels Helping Hands, says that they are trying to get as many clothes as they possibly can. Clothes such as jackets, socks, gloves, beanies, first aid supplies, and personal bathing wipes will all help the homeless population in Spokane get through the winter. “One of the items we can even utilize is underwear,” Garcia said.

The homeless community faces a lot of backlash and dehumanization, Garcia said, which makes it difficult to survive. And, especially as students, it’s easy to get “caught up in our day-to-day lives and has lots going on, possibly a part-time job,” Pardo said. But EWU social work and honors are working toward their goals of assisting the community and creating a healthy population through this winter clothing supplies drive.

“Donating has a huge impact. Mostly because the things they can’t purchase is clothes,” Garcia said. The homeless population struggles with finding good clothes, especially for the winter, because, being on the street, “you lose your items pretty regularly,” Garcia said. With enough donations, Pardo and Garcia hope that the drive will help alleviate the struggle homeless people face every day with a lack of clothes suitable for the declining temperatures and difficult weather.

“It’s very easy to dehumanize somebody else instead of figuring out solutions to their issues,” Garcia said.

Boxes to donate clothes are located on the Everett campus and on the Cheney campus on the 1st floor of the Senior Hall and the 3rd floor of the Catalyst building. The winter drive will be running until the 31st of January.

Jewels Helping Hands has direct donations accessible through their website here