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Formal wear collection box lacked success in Ohio Union

Sam Harrington / Lantern reporter

For most of March the cardboard box in the Ohio Union sat empty. It was supposed to collect donated formal wear to go to Franklin County adults who have disabilities and who are members of Franklin County’s Board of Developmental Disabilities recreation program.
By the end of the month the box wasn’t empty, but the effort was far from a success.
“All we got was a man’s jacket and shoes,” said Amber Mielke, a third-year in early childhood education at Ohio Dominican University who works as community support committee member for FCBDD’s recreation program.
The April 12 Spring Formal is a community event that seeks to give people with disabilities an experience akin to a prom or a wedding reception that they might not otherwise have, said Shawna Spanel, FCBDD recreation program coordinator.
Through donation stations at OSU, Ohio Dominican and local high schools, the six-member community support committee sought to get as much of a response as possible before the clothing drive ended Friday.
Even without much help from OSU, the committee was able to garner more than 200 dresses and more men’s wear than the previous year from other donations.
“We should be able to outfit everyone. There’s always maybe one person that we just don’t have their size, but we do our very best to make (sure) that clothing isn’t the reason why someone can’t attend,” Spanel said.
Spanel said OSU’s poor reaction was probably because “the word didn’t get out.” The collection was advertised primarily by flyers.
Dave Isaacs, OSU’s Student Life spokesman, said he is disappointed the formal did not receive more support from OSU and that there will be a conversation with the committee on how more success can be achieved in the future.
“We try and work with every group that does a drive, here at the Union, to help them become successful, and we’ll be following up with this group with perhaps some ideas that help bring in more donations,” Isaacs said. “Some (groups) are very successful and some are less so, and the factors on each are widely varying.”

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