It’s easy to think that the cardboard barrels in the Schmon Tower lobby are there to collect food donations.
Sitting next to a lit-up Christmas tree and adorned with the Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold logo,the bins are being filled by generous staff, students and faculty making new deposits of non-perishable food daily.
Though appreciated, the food bank is seeking donations for something else and the staff in Brock’s Visitor Information and Parking Services are spearheading the drive to get it what it needs: winter woolens and coats.
The annual Giving Tree campaign for Community Care, which started this week, is collecting hats, mitts, scarves, winter coats and snow pants, both new and gently used, to offer some warmth to those who need it.
“We’re really fortunate because we’re going to school and we have jackets, and though we may not see it, there are lots of people who don’t,” said Allison Whitworth, a third-year kinesiology student who works at the Schmon Tower information desk and is helping to oversee the campaign. “So it’s a way to be able to help because we are so fortunate.”
“Dealing with the stress of school, I couldn’t imagine dealing with financial hardship on top of that,” added Lauren Tucker, a fourth-year psychology student also helping with the drive.
Donations of winter wear can be made until Wednesday, Dec. 18. Woolens and coats for both children and adults are welcome.
And no one will turn away food donations, either, Whitworth said.
“People seem to be giving more food donations than warm accessories right now but it’s all good stuff going to the same place,” she said.
The Giving Tree isn’t the only festive fixture in the Schmon Tower lobby right now.
On Wednesday, Chabad at Brock hosted its annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony, which was attended by Brock President Jack Lightstone, local dignitaries, students and faculty.
The lighting was dedicated to Olivia Wise, the Toronto teen who died earlier this week after succumbing to an inoperable brain tumour.
“Many of the Jewish students at Brock knew her,” said Perla Zaltzman of Chabad, “Some even went to school with her and she is a true inspiration to many of them.”