Correction: West Chester University offers free break housing to homeless students. They additionally offer programming through “Operation Snow,” as well as a holiday party hosted on December 21st, and a free holiday dinner at Carlino’s on December 27th. Food donations are provided to students by the university’s Promise Program Fund, which is in its third year running. Any questions or further clarification should be directed to Tori Nuccio at 610.436.2627.
We are asking anyone who is able to donate to support homeless university students by this Friday, December 15th.
As students are taking their finals and are counting down the days until Winter Break, there are some that don’t share in that joyful anticipation. There are 26 homeless West Chester University students. I spoke with both Tony DeRemer and Valentina Stabilo, Barnaby’s manager and bartender respectively, about these students’ situations. Tony, who coaches the women’s rugby team at the university, learned of these details from another university coach, Bill Zwaan.
“Bill told us in a meeting for coaches that he and his family like to invite these homeless university students for dinner and provide them with necessities during the holidays,” Tony said.
“I was extremely shocked and truly heartbroken to hear such a high number,” Valentina added. “But at the same time so inspired to hear that no matter what their life circumstances, these students strive to better themselves and get a college education.”
Tony further described the meeting, saying Bill Zwann became emotional as he described what these students regularly experience: foster kids living in cars or on the streets, or their parents passed away or disowned them.
“He was crying as he told us this,” Tony recalled. “It was pretty powerful for us.”
This is where you come in.
The deadline is this Friday, December 15th. You can either call Tori Nuccio, assistant director of financial aid, at 610.436.2627, or visit 624 South High Street and drop off your donations there to Kim McCann from the university’s special projects department. You can also drop your donations off at Barnaby’s to be delivered to the university.
List of Necessities:
- Flash drives
- Hats, scarves, gloves
- Adult coloring books and colored pencils
- WCU gear
- Microwaveable dishes
- Portable hampers
- Pad-folios for interviews and internships
- Bath sets: lotions, chapsticks, and body sprays
- Picture frames
- Gift cards: WCU Bookstore, Amazon, Wawa H&M, Target, Ulta
“This is really the first year that the support has blown up, thanks to Bill and Valentina,” Tony said. “The pantry is usually low on items, but I’m sure it will get a great boost in supplies in support from making this known.”
There is currently no website or gofundme page. Let’s share this post around and spread the word!