Class service project to have international impact
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 23:10
What started as a class service project to help out Bryan-College Station has morphed into a clothing drive with international implications.
The idea for the clothing drive started in a restaurant, said Monty Hunt, founder and president of The Bridge Ministries. After listening to an international student talk about the lack of clothing in his community, Hunt offered to help collect clothes to send. The Bridge Ministries got in touch with students at Texas A&M about clothing collection and it soon formed into a larger drive.
“I was in Jason’s Deli talking with a student from another country,” Hunt said. “He said his community didn’t have many clothes, and that they were in need of T-shirts and jeans.”
The clothing drive started for students as a class project. Meredith Thomasson, sophomore communication major, said students are assigned a project in her group communication class that involves creating a solution for a problem faced by a local nonprofit. Meredith said her sister, Kara Thomasson, is a member of
her group and interns with The Bridge Ministries and helped connect the group with the ministry staff.
“The problem we uncovered at The Bridge Ministries appeared to be a lack of manpower needed to accomplish their outreach programs,” Meredith said. “Viewing A&M’s student body as an untapped resource, we developed a plan to connect this ministry with local college students in the area by assisting them with a clothing drive.”
Kara, senior communication major, said the clothing collected will be sent to an orphanage in El Salvador and to other communities in need.
“The Bridge is focused on meeting local needs, but they wanted to meet a global need,” Kara said.
Benjamin Pinkerton, senior psychology major and chaplain for the Corps of Cadets, received information about the drive from Kara and introduced it to the Corps, as a service project that would help promote selfless service in the Corps.
“As chaplain in the Corps, I make announcements every morning in Duncan Hall,” Pinkerton said. “I announced that the clothing drive was asking for T-shirts and jeans. We made a competition out of it. The unit that gives the most wins a free night out.”
Pinkerton said units in the Corps have gotten really involved in gathering clothes for the drive. To help measure how many clothes each unit collected, Pinkerton gave a trash bag to every outfit. However, many units have already exceeded that space.
“Units say they had to go get more trash bags,”
Hunt said he is astonished how quickly the project has grown. He said he wanted to stress how caring students at A&M are and how willing they are to help people in need.
The clothes will be shipped to the countries in need and any extra clothes collected will be given to people in Bryan-College Station. Meredith said she encouraged students and members of the community to take part in the drive to support both those in the area and around the world.
“It is an excellent way to give back to a community that has always graciously welcomed Aggies in, in addition to making a global impact,” Meredith said.
While Kara said there aren’t clothing collection spots set up on campus yet, The Bridge Ministries is hosting a profit share from 5-10 p.m. on Nov. 12 at Bahama Bucks at which people can bring gently used T-shirts and jeans to donate.
Clothes will be collected for the drive through Nov. 15.