As orange leaves cover the sidewalks, students are bundling up in flannels, sweaters and pea coats. Not far off campus, homeless citizens of Springfield are also noticing the change in seasons, only they don’t have the layers to put on.
Harsh New England winters are by far the hardest times for the homeless. The drop in temperature is a bitter reminder of their lack of clothing, shelter, and warmth.
Homeless shelters in the Springfield area only house people overnight. During the day, the homeless are on their own, and as the seasons change, conditions get worse.
A group of Springfield College students called the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) are taking action to make sure the homeless stay warm this winter. Along with their efforts, they are extending the opportunity for everyone to help out.
“A few members from [FCA] regularly help feed the homeless with a local church, Holy Cross. But we as a group decided that something more needs to be done,” Jason Mascoe, a senior at Springfield College, said.
The FCA is dedicated to teaching athletes about how the Christian faith corresponds with their sport.
Within the Fellowship, there are sub groups called “huddles.” These groups are made up of student athletes who plan events, religious studies, and fundraisers.
The next event that the Fellowship has planned is a jacket and coat drive for the homeless in our community. Throughout the next month, the FCA will be on campus collecting all of your unwanted outerwear.
Their mission statement is, “To create and maintain a community of believers in Jesus Christ who grow together through encouragement, leadership, and faith.” This fall, the Fellowship is encouraging Springfield College to be leaders by providing the homeless with warm clothing, and in turn, faith.
Dorm rooms make it easy for students to avoid the cold and take warmth for granted. The drive provides an opportunity to give back to the community. It reminds us how fortunate we are to call Springfield College home.
Upcoming collection dates include Nov. 13, Nov. 18, Nov. 20, and Dec. 2. On these days, the FCA will happily accept any jackets and coats in the Flynn Campus Union.
So when you clean out your closet this month, set aside that ski jacket that you haven’t worn in years. Then, after you go home for Thanksgiving, come back to campus with your dad’s old coat from the 90s.
Later this year, when you tread the snow-covered Senior Walk, you’ll know that you made a difference in someone’s life. This winter, more homeless citizens will be able to bare the cold.
“As students, we know how hard it is to walk a few hundred feet for a few minutes in the cold,” Mascoe said. “The least we can do is provide our friends with the proper winter attire as they strive to better their situation.”