15 years ago Francis Parks from Hendricks Chapel, Paula Hughson from First English Lutheran Church, a group of students from LCM, and Chaplain George Koch drove around campus in two station wagons at the end of the spring semester and collected clothing students had left behind when they left campus. These discarded pants, tops, coats, shoes were welcomed by men women and children living in the city who needed as well as enjoying their “new” clothes.
For several years this personal recycling, reuse program grew slowly and steadily, involving Volunteers first from Residence Life and then from all across campus – staff as well as students. In 2009 administration of the project shifted to SU’s Department of Off-Campus Housing and not only housewares but the furniture was added to the Tons of goods shared with city residents in need. In 2012 – 23 truckloads of clothing and goods were collected, sorted and distributed to 11 agencies serving the poor in Syracuse.
In true STEP Center style, the process is as important as the task! Students, Staff, clients of the clothes closet and church volunteers all work together to make this possible. Step into another’s world and out together to make a difference.