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Campus coat drive collects 900 items for the Denver Rescue Mission

Warm hearts are helping fight cold Colorado nights this winter season, thanks to the efforts of the University of Denver community.

The DU Staff Advisory Council’s annual “Pioneers for People” coat drive collected more than 900 items that have been donated to the Denver Rescue Mission.

“Thanks to the incredible kindness and generosity of everyone at the University of Denver, poor and needy individuals and families will be better able to face the cold winter Colorado days and nights with a warm coat,” says Lisette Williams, manager of community events and procurement at the Denver Rescue Mission. The Denver Rescue Mission is a nonprofit dedicated to providing shelter, food, clothing, education, work discipline and other opportunities for the poor.

Items — including coats, hats, scarves and gloves — were collected at various drop-off locations around campus Jan. 18–Feb. 5. This year, drop-off locations were expanded to include local businesses around campus.

People were especially generous this year, says Christa Bruning, co-chair of the coat drive. Last year, about 600 items were collected.

Sherry Lestina, an administrative assistant in University Advancement, was one of those generous people. For the second year, Lestina spent about 100 hours making 25 hats for the drive.

“I do this because I enjoy knitting,” Lestina says. “I prefer easy projects, like these hats, because after a long, busy day at DU, the simple repetition of knitting is relaxing. It’s just my small way of helping.”

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