Warm Hands, Warm Hearts

College students sit at a table collecting winter clothing

(Left to Right) Steph Brommer, Kelly Bergman, Kelly Stellpflug, Becky McCoy, and Megan Wolf put the “work” in social workers!


Improving the world is simple. All it takes is passion, commitment and empathy. When you really care about something, it gives you the ability to take action.

As part of the social work major at WSU, we are given the opportunity to make a positive change in the community. With little direction, we are able to choose a population or group of people we are interested in. Then, we take the time to research and figure out what their needs are and the adversities that they might face. In that process, we talk to key stakeholders to gain better insight on the population. Once we thoroughly have done all of that, we get to develop an intervention to address one of the issues the population faces.

I teamed up with four other classmates–Becky McCoy, Steph Brommer, Kelly Bergman, and Megan Wolf–and ran a winter clothing drive for children at Head Start in Winona as our intervention. We realized that winter clothing can be expensive, and items, such as mittens or hats, can easily be forgotten or misplaced. Therefore, our goal was to collect at least 10 hats and 10 pairs of mittens for Head Start to have for children to use while they play outside. We accepted both clothing and monetary donations to help achieve this goal.

The winter clothing drive was November 19th and 21st from 11:00am to 3:30pm in Kryzsko Commons. Between the five us, we made sure at least two of us were there at all times. There were times when we received few donations at all and other moments of inspirational generosity. Some donated as much as five dollars and some donated whatever they had in their pockets, even as little as thirteen cents. However, every penny truly counted.

One individual even took his scarf from his shoulders and donated it to our clothing box. When someone does something as selfless as that, it makes you speechless. It reminded us how amazing some people can be.

In the end, the event was a success! We collected 11 pairs of gloves/mittens, 3 head bands, 2 hats, 12 scarves, and a grand total $49.86. All of the money will be used to purchase more winter clothing items for the children at Head Start.

Although our clothing drive won’t change their lives completely, it’s one less worry for the families and staff at Head Start.

Even a small change can make a big difference.

–Kelly Stellpflug

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