With an increase in the homeless population in Columbia and the growing winter, the Beta Club has decided to hold a winter clothing drive to provide for those that are less fortunate.

 

Story by Zakiya Austin, Maddie Mason and Sarah Emily Rish

Photo by Maddie Mason

With an increase in the homeless population in Columbia and the growing winter, the Beta Club has decided to hold a winter clothing drive to provide for those that are less fortunate.

“The purpose of this is to provide winter clothing for homeless in Columbia,” Beta Club advisor Kelly Payne said. “The vision was to make this an annual thing that every year around this time we collect coats, hats, gloves, and also monetary donations.”

The idea came from junior Daniel Vaught, who wanted to help the homeless in Columbia.

“At first it was just going to be me and a few friends, but then I took the idea to Beta Club and it grew from there,” junior Daniel Vaught said.

The Beta Club hopes that other schools throughout District Five will get involved.

“What the Dutch Fork Beta Club would love to do is have all 4 high schools in District 5 participate to have some friendly competition for a great cause,” senior Ashley Dye said.

Beta Club president, Ashley Dye, encourages students to get involved by giving their donations, both monetary and clothing.

“Monetary donations can be given to Ms. Payne in Room 230. Item donations can be placed in designated boxes around the school,” Ashley said.

The Beta Club is working with the Oliver Gospel Mission for this clothing drive.

“The clothing drive will benefit the Oliver Gospel Mission. This organization is dedicated to improving the lives of those who are homeless,” Ashley said.

For students who are uncertain as to what they can donate, the Beta Club has suggestions for clothing to bring.

“ If students would like to donate in other ways, please bring men’s coats and jackets, pants, jeans, socks, canned food, travel size soap and shampoo, and hand sanitizer to designated boxes around the school,” Daniel said.

Because of the flood that hit late last year, there is an increase in the homeless population in Columbia and an even bigger increase for winter clothing.

“I am sure there are organizations that are still working with people, but I think it is important to help those that may not have been addressed,” Payne said.

This clothing drive is going to be widely publicized throughout Dutch Fork, to spread the word to all students.

“My room will be used as the drop off room for donations, it will be on the scrolling announcements, and we will have it announced on Silver Screen,” Payne said.

The clothing drive can be a success if students throughout the district and the community get involved to help those less fortunate.

“We haven’t ever reached out to work with Spring Hill, Irmo, and Chapin at the same time, so that would be something that we would like to do, but it will only be possible if people ask other students that go there if they have any friends or relatives that want to help and going to speak to the Beta Club advisors at their schools,” Payne said. “I think it would be a nice thing if we did this together as a Lexington District 5 community.”