As of Monday, Keep Windsor Warm is back on campus for the second year in a row. This time, the plan is to make this event bigger and better, based on previous experience.
Windsor’s own Campus Ministry is in charge of the event this year and hopes to garner more support and interest. For those who don’t know, listen to Chrisandra Skipper, Community Outreach Coordinator at Campus Ministry, talk about what exactly this event is all about.
With the state of poverty in Ontario being so high, it’s no wonder that this cause is important to their hearts. People under the Social Assistance program called Ontario works should be able to meet the poverty line ($19,930 for adults and $28,185 for adults with children), however they are only receiving $7,452 if just an adult and $17,461.80 if an adult with a child. The income gap is so huge and detrimental that every little things helps. Especially the things we take for granted: good-quality, warm clothing.
This year, they have a few new goals. Before the event started, Campus Ministry looked high and low for the perfect places to put their baskets so that it would be more available for people to see and in turn, donate. 10 baskets were placed around campus. As well, they used decorated baskets with clear signage instead of cardboard boxes so that the cause would seem more compelling.
New to the Assumption/Campus Ministry family is lay principal Richard Corneil. The changes to Keep Windsor Warm might be foreshadowing the future at Assumption with a new principal. “We have an opportunity to make a fresh start and we’re looking at all the ways that Assumption can go forward as a meaningful centre of Catholic higher education.” And look at the changes they’re making already.
They’re already increasing their avenues of publicity through their poster campaign and by making it campus wide, are hoping for better results. They’ve also been featured in the Windsor Daily News. And today, they are located in the CAW with a table outlining just what this event entails.
While the clear purpose of this event is to help those in need, their focus this year is to get students connected with the Windsor community. Instead of running a bi-weekly crocheting club, they are focusing all of their energy on teaching staff and students to crochet only during the month of November. Even from just one day of crochet lessons, they’ve had a greater turnout than last year.
And with these new lessons comes new tools. This year, Chrisandra is bringing out the loom. Cecile Bertrand, Executive Administrative Assistant at Assumption University on campus, is most excited to donate her time and energy to Keep Windsor Warm and the community by knitting with the loom. She says “I remember my daugthers knitting with the loom, this brings back old memories. Creating news ones and helping our community is priceless.”
With so many in need, they’re spreading out their donations this year. Instead of only helping out the Windsor warming crew, they are also donating to the Windsor Youth Centre and the International Students at the university. With more time to plan, they have avid hopes for this event this year.
— Richard Corneil (@auprincipal) November 10, 2015
They also made the decision to not accept monetary donations because they feel as though that is a huge theme in other charity events throughout campus during this season.
Something they hope to avoid this year is the donations getting into the wrong hands. After all of the donations were collected last year, they helped spread some of the donations around the community with a note saying “If you need me, take me!”. However, last year, some people who weren’t as needy, gave them to second hand stores and they were being sold. It wasn’t a member of the Campus Ministry crew but that doesn’t make it okay for people to try to sell free goods.
Because they never actually get to meet the folks they are trying to help, they can only hope that they’re making a difference. Chrisandra Skipper said “Most service projects you don’t know if you’ve made a difference, especially when it’s not hands on. I don’t know who will pick up these donations, but I know I hate being cold so I hope that this helps someone not be cold this winter.”
As well, Chrisandra hopes to spread her love of crochet. With new ideas and strategies, this event should be more successful than the last.