The legacy of Syracuse University alumnus Charles Vert Willie G’57, H’92 will forever be tied to that of his friend Martin Luther King Jr., making Willie’s passing a week before MLK Day 2022 especially poignant. Willie, who died on Jan….
Hoping for a ‘Robust Response,’ Operation Orange Warmup to Launch Saturday to Benefit Community Members in Need This Winter
The recent run of sub-freezing temperatures in Central New York serves as a crucial reminder of how important it is to wear proper clothing outdoors, such as winter coats, hats, boots, scarves and gloves.
Unfortunately, there are members of the Central New York community who lack these winter clothing staples.
With a goal of providing proper winter outdoor wear to individuals and families in need, Syracuse University is partnering with several Central New York nonprofit organizations on Operation Orange Warmup, a community clothing drive.
Members of the Syracuse University community, the City of Syracuse and surrounding towns are encouraged to rally together and donate new (and clean, nearly new) winter apparel, beginning with the 3 p.m. kickoff event on Saturday, Jan. 15, when the Syracuse men’s basketball team hosts ACC rival Florida State in the stadium.
Fans who plan to cheer on the Orange are encouraged to bring with them a winter coat, a pair of gloves or mittens, winter hats, scarves and boots (in all sizes and styles) as they enter the stadium. Nine collection bins will be conveniently situated at stadium gates for those looking to donate and make a difference for those in need this winter.
“When we reached out to our community partners, what we heard from them across the board is there is a great need for this type of clothing drive. Hopefully the Syracuse University community and the greater Central New York community can respond to this and help our neighbors in need,” says Cydney Johnson, the University’s vice president of community engagement and government relations.
Johnson credits Dr. Ruth Chen, professor of practice in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, with establishing Operation Orange Warmup to benefit those less fortunate in the Central New York community.
Johnson says it was only natural to invite the campus community to give back to Operation Orange Warmup, and that the men’s basketball game vs. Florida State offered the ideal kickoff for this service project.
“Having this drive coincide with an afternoon game will hopefully make it easier for people to come out and donate. Knowing that we’re in the middle of such a cold week and that this is our first sustained cold spell of winter will also hopefully make people realize they can help give back by going through their closets and rounding up extra items of clothing they no longer need,” Johnson says. “We’re optimistic that there will be a robust response from the community to this effort.”
Can’t make it out to the men’s basketball game on Saturday but still want to support Operation Orange Warmup? Donations will also be accepted on campus at Hendricks Chapel, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning on Monday, Jan. 17, and running through Friday, Jan. 21. Look for a covered bin outside of Hendricks Chapel facing Eggers Hall.
The community partner agencies who have come together to support Operation Orange Warmup are InterFaith Works, Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, YWCA, North Side Learning Center, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, Catholic Charities, Blessing Box, NAACP, Mercy Works, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, La Liga and the Labor Council. Collected items will be distributed by these organizations across Central New York after the donation period ends, on Jan. 21.