By Casandra Nguyen, ’15
Western New York is not a winter wonderland for those who aren’t accustomed to the harsh weather conditions, so senior Rachael Herrmann is gathering coats of different sizes to donate to refugee families at Saint’s Place in Rochester, N.Y.
Inspired by Adam Braun’s story “The Promise of a Pencil,” and her trip in the fall to Saint’s Place with Sr. Suzanne Kush, C.S.S.F., director of the university’s Franciscan Center of Social Concern, Herrmann took note that the refugee families were not prepared for what winter had coming.
“I have been blessed to never know what it is like to truly be cold,” said Herrmann. “Giving a coat is a simple act that can mean the difference between life and death for some people.”
Herrmann is looking for an assortment of sizes, ranging from adult sizes to youth sizes. Coats can be dropped off at the Franciscan Center for Social Concern in the Thomas Merton Center on the SBU campus. The coat drive will run until Friday, Dec. 12.
The refugee families have little to no experience with the winter weather and are not familiar with “bundling up.” Consequently, St. Bonaventure University is collecting new and lightly used winter coats to give to Saint’s Place to keep current families warm this winter and winters to come.
Saint’s Place is a volunteer organization that provides household goods, clothing and education to legal refugees of all races and creeds who settle in the Rochester area to escape violence, discrimination and poverty.
"Over the past four years, I have had the privilege of being a member of the Bonnie family; and if there's one thing I know about this family, it is that it genuinely cares for others,” said Herrmann. “Bonnies have and always will answer the call of a neighbor in need. I know that our Bona family will certainly be there for other families who are in need of some extra love and help this winter.”
For more information, contact Rachael Herrmann with any questions at Herrmarj11@bonaventure.edu.
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