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Dollars 4 Change donates clothes to local shelter

Tyler Joswick / Asst Photo editor

The holiday season has passed, but one student group is hoping the spirit of giving at Ohio State will extend into the new year.

Dollars 4 Change, a student group dedicated to fundraising and awareness for nonprofit organizations in central Ohio, kicked off a winter clothing drive Jan. 3 benefitting The Open Shelter, a local day service center that provides food, clothing, sleeping bags and other amenities for the homeless.

Kunal Parikh, a third-year in chemical engineering and president of Dollars 4 Change, said the purpose of the drive is to collect items like outerwear, but it is about more than the clothing.

“We thought it was a great way to not only generate awareness for the things that (The Open Shelter is) doing, but also help out some needy people in Columbus,” Parikh said. “I think the clothing drive is about … getting people involved and that has far-reaching effects.”

This is the first time Dollars 4 Change has collaborated with The Open Shelter.

The drive has come at a time when Harry Yeprem, development coordinator for The Open Shelter, said donations become sparse for the shelter, which serves about 160 people a day.

“We do get a lot of great support,” Yeprem said. “We are very appreciative for what goes on during the holidays, but it would be kind of nice if there was some way that we could stretch that through the year.”

Though Yeprem said he is unable to put a number on the after-the-holidays drop in monetary donations, which fund the shelter, he said there “is a noticeable difference” for the shelter.

Parikh said the drive ends Jan. 21. The donated items will then be weighed and sent to The Open Shelter, located at 61 E. Mound St. Yeprem is not looking for a high turnout to find success.

“The Open Shelter can’t exist without drives like this … everything that we do is because of the generosity of the central Ohio community,” Yeprem said. “Anything is a success.”

Clothing for The Open Shelter can be donated in the lobby of all residence halls on the OSU main campus.

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