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Editorial Cartoon: Peace in Gaza
Editorial Cartoon: Peace in Gaza
Published April 19, 2024

‘Fill the Bus’ falls short of goal

Sociology senior Matt Walz counts bags of clothing donated during the “Fill the Bus” clothing drive on Monday outside Coffman Union. The more than 3,000 clothing items donated will be given to People Serving People homeless shelter in Downtown Minneapolis.
Image by Ali Haupt
Sociology senior Matt Walz counts bags of clothing donated during the “Fill the Bus” clothing drive on Monday outside Coffman Union. The more than 3,000 clothing items donated will be given to People Serving People homeless shelter in Downtown Minneapolis.

A struggling economy and cold temperatures have made warm clothing a greater necessity, but the sixth annual âÄúFill the Bus âÄú event failed to completely fill a Campus Circulator Monday. Co-coordinator Holly Love said the goal was to bring in 10,000 pieces of clothing, but less than half of that âÄî about 3,000 âÄî was donated. The clothes went to People Serving People, a homeless shelter and community outreach center in downtown Minneapolis. Love, an agriculture industries and marketing senior, said a lack of publicity was mainly to blame for the low turnout, as well as holding the event on a Monday following a holiday. In previous years, Love said the event included free gift certificates given by Stadium Village businesses for those who donated items, but the businesses declined such offers this year, citing economic reasons. TCF Bank, however, was able to give a grant worth more than $1,000, Love said, which helped fund the basic logistics of the event, like transportation of the clothing and advertising. Love said thereâÄôs a major need for an event like this in the University community. âÄúWith the economic crisis weâÄôre in, and the amount of people who are out of their homes,âÄù she said, âÄústudents need to step it up. ItâÄôs a great way to give back to the community.âÄù Jim Minor, the CEO and president of People Serving People, said he looks forward to this event every year. âÄúItâÄôs really overpowering, and itâÄôs highly accepted here as a great gift,âÄù he said. People Serving People houses 336 people who have temporary-living situations, Minor said. The 100-room family shelter and community service center is in its 27th year of operation. âÄúWe have new families coming every day and one of the first things that we notice regularly is that theyâÄôre not adequately dressed,âÄù Minor said. People Serving People has been filled to its capacity for almost 15 months and the number of families there is the highest itâÄôs been in eight years, Minor said. âÄúThere are families that become homeless that would have never thought theyâÄôd be homeless,âÄù he said. Job loss or disabilities can cause them to miss a mortgage or rent payment and all of a sudden, theyâÄôre faced with no housing, he said. Mike Collins, a part-time University student, brought coats to help fill the bus. âÄúItâÄôs very ethical, very responsible,âÄù he said. Tony Wagner, a Phi Delta Theta member, helped plan the event and volunteered, as did 19 of his fellow fraternity brothers. âÄúAbove all, itâÄôs always important to help others,âÄù he said. âÄúIf we learn it at a younger age, then weâÄôll be better at serving our peers in the future.âÄù

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