By: Meghan Hudson, Staff Writer
Meghan Hudson/ The Towerlight
On Feb. 5, members of Kappa Delta and Zeta Beta Tau carried bags upon bags of winter clothing items and accessories to uptown Towson. With small notes that read “If you need it, take it,” various items such as hats, gloves, scarves and coats were tied around posts up and down York Road.
Throughout January, Maryland has been experiencing quite the flux in temperature. While students are currently enjoying temperatures averaging in the 40s, just last week, the state was hit by a gust of cold air from a polar vortex. This lowered the temperature to a mere 7 degrees, bringing life-threatening conditions to those who are homeless and who cannot afford winter clothing.
According to One Warm Coat, a non-profit organization dedicated to donating to those in need, winter coats are often considered to be an extra expense for lower income families due to high pricing. In an effort to diminish the disparities that stem from exposure to harsh winters, schools and communities alike have created winter clothing drives to provide for those in need.
For the past few years, residents in Frederick, Maryland have come together to collect winter clothing items and pin them up throughout town for whomever may need it. The positive effects of this event were seen immediately, as people whom were in need, or knew somebody in need, collected the donated items.
Inspired by this standing tradition within his hometown, Alexander Breck, a sophomore at Towson University, and member of Zeta Beta Tau, decided to recreate the event in Towson. Upon consulting with the rest of his fraternity, and sorority Kappa Delta, the Greek pair enacted their vision.
Zeta Beta Tau and Kappa Delta became committed to giving back to the community before temperatures had even plummeted.
“I just asked all of my brothers [and Kappa Delta] to collect the accessories while away at winter break, and we got a good amount to put out” Breck said. “Next year, we hope to put a basket in the Union so others can donate as well.”
Breck hopes the event will help those in need get through a cold winter.
“I just hope that anyone who needed something warm, whether homeless or less fortunate, was able to get an item, helping them get through this rough winter” he said.
For Kappa Delta, organizing this event held significant meaning.
“Kappa Delta is thankful to ZBT for partnering with us to provide a helping hand to those who are exposed to the extremely cold temperatures in the community that surrounds TU,” said Courtney Sacco, President of Kappa Delta. “We are eager to support the community who continually supports us and give back in this meaningful way.”
In a statement released by Kappa Delta, the chapter shared that “Kappa Delta is committed to building confidence and inspiring action in our members by making a tangible difference in our community.”
Kappa Delta and Zeta Beta Tau encourage students and community members to participate in pinning up winter clothing articles. They are hoping this small action could inspire community members in other cities to give back to their communities as well.
“Our donated items had been picked up by those in need immediately, which was not only a rewarding feeling, but also showed us how important our efforts actually were,” said Emily Couture, Vice President-Community Service for Kappa Delta. “We hope the feeling we experienced contributes to this becoming a tradition each winter.”
Next winter, both chapters are planning on expanding the drive, and further including the community.
“Next year I hope to set up a few collection boxes around campus and taking volunteers from Greek life or the student body to take all around campus, Uptown and possibly Downtown Baltimore,” Breck said.
According to Breck, giving back to the community is simple to do.
“All you have to do is print out a little note saying something along the lines of ‘If you need this, take it; if you have something to donate come back and tie it here’ and pin it with the winter accessory,” he said. “It’s a super easy thing to do with your co-workers, organizations or friends.”