A campus relief drive organized by the University of Wisconsin and student groups for those in the New Jersey and New York area will come to an end this week.
Susannah Brooks, a UW spokesperson, said the drive started Friday, Nov. 30, and will continue until Saturday, Dec. 8. Members of the UW community will be able to donate nonperishable items and basic care items such as socks and coats.
According to the UW statement, people can drop off their donations in buckets, which are located outside of Pres House, the Red Gym, Gordon Dining and Event Center and Witte, Sellery, Smith, Chadbourne and Dejope residence halls.
“A lot of these people have had their homes affected quite drastically and are already working with and depending on agencies,” Brooks said. “Those agencies are stretched to the brink as this becomes a much more urgent situation.”
She said the drive is focusing on providing people with everyday necessities, not just food, and providing basic items that can help people through the winter.
Everett Mitchell, UW’s director of community relations, organized the drive and used to live and work in New Jersey so he has a personal connection there, Brooks said.
UW is partnering with a New Jersey charity called Children’s Futures to provide items to people hit by Hurricane Sandy, she said. Money donations can be given through the Red Cross, she added.
Brooks said the end of the semester is a good time to get involved because people are leaving and can donate what they do not need or would have left behind.
“We know that this is a tight time for a lot of people,” Brooks said. “We would like to focus on just whatever people can give, whatever people can share. We want to encourage people to think about other people.”
She said people are encouraged to go to the performances put on by First Wave, UW’s Hip-Hop and Urban Arts Learning Community because they will also be collecting items for Hurricane Sandy relief at the door.
David Gardner, the press office director for the Associated Students of Madison, said ASM has been meeting with Campus Relations and other student organizations on the drive. ASM will be providing volunteers and communicating with the student body, he said.
“People saw Hurricane Sandy’s damage a week after, but the damage is still going on and the holidays are just around the corner,” Gardner said. “We want to provide basic resources for people who have been misplaced or otherwise impacted by the storm.”
Gardner said ASM helped with communicating drives in the past. He said ASM is adept at communicating because they reach so many students. For example, when ASM brought up their drive at their meeting last week, they were able to collect a long list of volunteers for the drive.
ASM will use its network with students to make a more unified effort to help people, Gardner said.