The Recreation Club at St. Joseph’s University, New York’s Brooklyn Campus conducted a successful clothing drive in October to benefit rehabilitation patients at Interfaith Medical Center.
Donations filled 10 tote bags and were collected during common hour on Nov. 3. Among the donated items were coats, sweaters, and other cold-weather apparel.
The group connected with Interfaith through St. Joseph’s alumna and former club president Crystal Morgan, who’s now a rehabilitation therapist at the hospital.
“She mentioned that individuals who come to the center often come with just the clothes on their backs, and with the weather changing, they would need a lot of support,” said Shirley Belval, current president of the club. “This need sparked the idea to hold a clothing drive.”
Many who will benefit from the club’s initiative have battled substance abuse-related issues and often are homeless.
“The mission of our club is to bring awareness to positive leisure and the benefits of an active lifestyle,” Belval added. ”Meeting someone’s basic need of clothing helps them to be in a better position to receive treatment and hopefully begin their journey to a healthy lifestyle.”
This was the first clothing drive that the Recreation Club has conducted, but it’s no stranger to community service. At the height of the pandemic, the group raised money to buy iPads for nursing home patients, allowing them to have virtual visits with family members.
Other initiatives include an annual bouquet-making event to benefit nursing home patients during International Recreational Therapy Month (February), an ALS awareness panel, bi-annual puppet shows at the Dillon Center, and other self-care events.
For more information on the Recreation Club, visit this link.