May 20, 2013 | Borough of Manhattan Community College
What started as a classroom project spread throughout the college.
As part of their Serving Learning assignment, students in La-Dana Jenkins’ Career Planning course collected work attire from the BMCC community, which was donated to students and charities.
Drop boxes for the clothes were set up around campus, in places such as Jenkins’ office and the Office of Student Affairs. Students made announcements in class, and came back the next day armed with donated clothes from peers.
Within just a few days, the drop boxes were filled with ties, sweaters, skirts, blouses and even suits.
Accounting major Radha Paramanand helped collect clothes and sat at a table in the lobby, answering questions about the donation process.
“Helping out this way makes me a better person,” says Paramanand, who donated clothes from her family members. “I love helping people and giving back. I always wanted to get more involved at school. Some students do know how to interview but may not have professional clothes, which is why this donation process is so wonderful.”
Grateful for the donations
The donated clothes were first offered to BMCC students. All remaining attire was donated to local charities such as Bottomless Closet and Career Gear.
“Career Gear was very appreciative and thanked our students for taking on this project,” says Jenkins. “We donated six bags of men’s clothing.”
According to Jenkins, the students who picked up professional attire needed for jobs and potential interviews.
“I let them know that I will be keeping clothes in my office, so if they need to come back, they are welcomed to,” she says. “There is no shame in taking donated clothes for yourself or others, and I want everyone to know that,” says Jenkins.