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In preparation for National Volunteer Week in April, Volunteer Starkville and the Maroon Volunteer Center are holding a supply drive for Recovery House in Columbus and for 360 Degree Mind, Body and Soul.
"We're collecting necessities, but not necessarily the kinds that everyone thinks about," Meggan Franks, program coordinator at the office for Student Leadership and Community Engagement, said. "Not just food and water, but shampoo, towels and sheets, and things like that."
Recovery House is a non-profit organization that provides shelter and substance abuse treatment for women. In addition to addiction treatment, they offer therapy, life skills training, an education program, and job opportunities.
"We depend a lot on community support and donations we receive through the community," Cori Hanson, an administrative assistant for the Recovery House said.
The Recovery House is asking for cleaning and household supplies, pens, Tylenol and Ibuprophen, white towels and washcloths, white bed sheets for single beds and canned soups and vegetables. They would also appreciate any items for women.
360 Degrees Mind, Body, and Soul, a new local non-profit organization, recognized a need for homeless shelters in the Starkville area. They hope to open one for men and another for women and children.
"After many recent unexpected disasters that have caused some of our community members to be without housing," Robyn Conerly from 360 said, "it was impressed upon our hearts to help out some of the local organizations and churches that have been putting the homeless and transient population in temporary shelters such as hotels."
Ideally, they would like to have the shelters up and running by this summer, when the heat becomes dangerous for those without shelter. They don't yet have the funds for supplies or a building, but hope Volunteer Starkville's drive will help get them started.
"Having the Volunteer Starkville organization participate in a supply drive for our organization means the world to us," Conerly said. "We often hear that it takes a village to raise a child and it does. But it also takes a village to come together on one accord to meet the needs of the community and fight issues such as homelessness."
They will gladly accept donations of any kind, but would appreciate hygiene products and non-perishible foods.
The drive will start Friday and continue until Tuesday, April 12. Volunteer Starkville will have collection boxes set up at several locations around town and on campus. Locations include: the Greater Starkville Development Project office, the Starkville Daily News office, the Maroon Volunteer Center located on the third floor of South Hall, the Welcome Center located next to Barnes & Noble, and the MBAA Lounge located on the second floor of McCool Hall.
"Anything that they feel is beneficial, go ahead and donate it," Franks said. "We're really not turning down anything.If it's something that neither organization can really use, we'll find a somewhere that can take it."
National Volunteer Week is an annual event that inspires communities to work together to give back. It will run from April 10th through the 16th. This year, Volunteer Starkville and the Maroon Volunteer Center will be offering several volunteer opportunities during the week including helping out at the Palmer Home Thrift store and a clean up in the Cotton District in preparation for the arts festival.
"The goal for the week is five days, 500 hours of service and I am sure we could probably collect 500 lbs. worth of items," Elizabeth Du Bois, Chief Coordinator for Volunteer Starkville said.
For more information about service opportunities and National Volunteer Week, contact Volunteer Starkville at (662) 546-0484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.