Winter clothing drive


Kendra Campbell

Health Services is offering free winter clothing items for all students located on a table in the Kent Atrium.

by Kendra Campbell, Staff Reporter

Health Services is offering free winter clothing items for all students located on a table in the Kent Atrium. The winter clothing drive has hats, coats, scarves, gloves, and mittens. Boots are offered when they are donated.

The clothing drive is entirely confidential, and students do not need to ask before taking clothing off the table in the Kent Campus Center.  

This drive, organized by Health Services, has been around for roughly eight years. It started when Iowa experienced an arctic freeze.

“The temperatures dipped way below zero, and extreme cold warnings were in effect. Health Services wanted to ensure our students were safe and prepared,” Katie Lee, director of Health Services, said.

Health Services noticed that students only sometimes wear coats and did not know if this was by choice or lack of warm clothing. Another concern was with out-of-state students who are not used to the colder weather. 

“We wanted to ensure our students were covered,” Lee said.

The winter clothing drive is based on donations. Health Services graciously took out funds to purchase hats, gloves, mittens, coats, and boots.

Lee expressed her thanks for the generosity of the Simpson community. “We noticed items being taken and some new things appearing,” she said. “Also, we believe that students were only taking what they needed. No one ever took advantage of the free items, and we appreciate the thoughtfulness in spreading the warmth.”

Unfortunately, during COVID, the clothing drive had to stop, as many other things did. With Health Services having its hands full with the rapid cases on campus, the drive was not the focus. Thankfully now, with cases down, the winter clothing drive and other activities are in full swing.

For those who want to help donate to the winter clothing drive, there are three ways to do it. Individuals can leave items on the table, drop the items off at the Student Development front desk (located on the 2nd floor of Kent Campus Center) or email or call Health Services. 

Email them at [email protected] or call 515-961-1604 if you want to donate.

Donation items must be new or gently used. Katie Lee describes gently used as, “‘Is this something I would loan or give to a friend?’”

Health Services accepts hats, coats, scarves, gloves, boots and mittens. The winter clothing drive needs more boots to be donated. However, any donations are appreciated and helpful.

The winter clothing drive typically starts at the beginning of the winter season and goes through spring break. Once the drive is over, all leftover items are packed up and kept for the next season.

Students who utilize the winter clothing drive are not expected to return the items at the end of the season. However, if an individual took an item and is no longer in need of it and it is in good shape, they can donate it back.