By Molly Dalton and Kurt Mason, Contributing Writers
With the holiday season around the corner and the end of the semester quickly approaching, students and community members alike were able to take a break from their busy schedules and come together to celebrate Chester Greenwood, the inventor of the earmuff, last Saturday for the 40th annual Chester Greenwood Day parade and celebration. While many of the various clubs and organizations on campus got involved with the parade, some members of Professor Maurice ‘Bud’ Martin’s HEA 310 class participated in a much different way: by lending their services to the Old South Church’s program, Coat & Cupboard.
The program, designed to provide people in the community with gently worn coats, hats, mittens, and even blankets, hosted a coat drive on Chester Greenwood Day and they received some help from UMF students Margaret Fogarty, Sarah Haas, Nikki Rae Murphy, Kenda Newman and Emmah Spahr.
In conjunction with their HEA 310 class, these students were required to find a community-organized event and come together as a group to work with the leaders of the project and enhance it in some way. For this particular event, this group of students provided the community members who stopped by with free warm soup and hot coffee. “We weren’t supposed to take the lead on the event, we were only supposed to enhance it,” said Margaret Fogarty, a junior community health education major. “It was a great event and it was awesome to be able to help families find winter clothes and walk away with a hot meal,” said Fogarty.
Coat & Cupboard served about 68 families and distributed more than 120 different items on Chester Greenwood Day, but this event was not a one-time deal. Coat & Cupboard is open on the first Sunday of every month from 9-11a.m. and they are always looking to have volunteers help out however they can. “They were thrilled to work with us and they look forward to doing more work with UMF students if possible,” said Fogarty.
Not only did this group of students offer up their services with warm soup and coffee, but they also created a pamphlet and a short questionnaire that provided people with more information about the services that Coat & Cupboard offers and more places in the area that offer similar services. The students also provided the recipes for each of their homemade soups; Chicken Noodle and Corn Chowder. They made sure to advertise that the ingredients that were used to make the soups came from local farms.
Although the data from the questionnaire hasn’t been compiled, according to Fogarty, “We felt as though this event was a great success. We were hoping for a bigger turnout, but we didn’t really know what to expect, but to know that we helped those families made all of our hard work and planning worth it.”